Domestic violence needs to be everybody’s business and needs to be made a public issue, writes Premier Campbell Newman.
Domestic violence is not often a topic that comes up in conversation. It is a silent problem in our community and an issue that we desperately need to tackle.
It is sobering and shocking that more than 175 Queenslanders are reporting incidents of violence in the home every day.
This number is far too high.
Just last week I stood beside Dame Quentin Bryce, our former Governor-General and announced a taskforce that will look into domestic violence across Queensland with the aim of shining a spotlight on a crime that touches too many families.
This issue is one that is very close to my heart. I saw firsthand the damage such violence can have on women and children while a teenager in Tasmania in the 1970s, when my own mother Jocelyn tried to set up a refuge shelter.
Back in those days, anyone who tried to help domestic violence victims were seen as meddlers who tried to break families up. However my mother wasn’t deterred by her critics because the need was so great. That need is greater than ever now and that’s why this taskforce is vitally important.
Ms Bryce, along with members of both sides of Parliament, community leaders and not-for-profit organisations will travel the length and breadth of the state as they see and hear from Queenslanders on how we can better protect our most vulnerable.
As a first step, I encourage the community to have its say by participating in an online survey, available on my department’s website. We will use community feedback as a basis for developing a domestic violence strategy that will make a real difference to the safety of Queenslanders.
Domestic violence needs to be everybody’s business. We need to make this private form of violence a public issue.
Change happens when we, as a community, challenge the attitudes and behaviours that aren’t acceptable and together we can achieve this.
I’m committed to ensuring Queensland is the safest place to live, work and raise a family and this is a significant step in overcoming one of the great scourges on our society.
To contribute to the survey, visit www.qld.gov.au/dfvtaskforce.