In February 2015, the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence released its report entitled Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland.
This Report noted that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland experience disproportionately high levels of violence, including domestic and family violence, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women being 35 times more likely than members of the general female population to be hospitalised for spouse/domestic partner assaults.
The Report also notes that the impacts of this violence and abuse in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities cannot be underestimated and contributes to negative effects on psychological and physical health, homelessness, poverty, children’s wellbeing, and education.
The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships is leading and supporting the implementation of a number of recommendations from the Report. This includes recommendation 93 regarding amending the Family Responsibilities Commission Act to include the requirement for a court to notify the Family Responsibilities Commission when a protection order under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act is made naming a welfare reform community resident as the respondent. To give effect to this recommendation, on 1 December 2015, the Family Responsibilities Commission Amendment Bill was passed by the Queensland Parliament. These legislative changes took effect on 17 December 2015.
The department is also working with agency partners to support the development of an integrated response to domestic and family violence in discrete Indigenous communities, including a trial of integrated service provision.
Some outcomes of work across government so far includes:
Information about these initiatives is available on the End Domestic and Family Violence website.
The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships is committed to working with key partners to address the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Queensland’s child protection system.
The Report of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry noted the alarming number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Queensland’s child protection system, with these children being over-represented at all stages of the system.
The government response to the Inquiry’s report is significantly changing the child protection landscape in Queensland by working on ensuring families, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, receive the right services at the right time to keep children safely at home.
In this respect, the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships is leading the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Service Reform Project which aims to improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to culturally appropriate programs and services and reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in the child protection system.
Advice, suppport and healing is available for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples affected by domestic and family violence or abuse.
Information about violence prevention, including how to recognise domestic violence and support people living with domestic and family violence.
The Not Now, Not Ever campaign encourages all Queenslanders to take up the challenge and put an end to domestic and family violence. Schools, workplaces, neighbourhoods, sporting clubs and communities are all invited to get involved. Find out more about Not Now, Not Ever.