Premier launches new fight against domestic violence
FRIENDS, family and neighbours need to stop turning a "blind eye" to domestic violence, the Premier declared yesterday in a plea for the public to help victims.
Launching a new campaign to #dosomething, Annastacia Palaszczuk urged Queenslanders to call police or reach out when they suspected someone was suffering from violence at home.
"We don't want people to be the bystander,'' Mrs Palaszczuk told The Sunday Mail yesterday.
"We really want people to say something. Don't turn a blind eye - check on your neighbour and ask if everything's OK.''
Ms Palaszczuk said up to half of cases before magistrates involved domestic violence.
"There are more people coming forward to our court system,'' she said.
"Magistrates have said to me that sometimes 50 per cent of their case load now is domestic and family violence matters, while in the past it might have been a quarter or a fifth.
"There is heightened awareness about it.
"Domestic violence can happen to anyone - it's not about any particular demographic or age group.''
Queensland magistrates finalised a record 32,346 domestic violence protection orders during 2016-17 - a staggering 38 per cent increase in just four years.
Ms Palaszczuk also urged fathers to be "strong role models'' for their sons and for men to reach out to their mates under pressure.
"We would encourage men to be strong role models for their sons and for their work colleagues,'' she said.
"Sometimes people are going through difficult times in their lives and it's always good to offer a helping hand.''
Ms Palaszczuk said her government was spending $321 million over six years on domestic violence prevention and assistance - including tougher laws, refuges for victims and their children, specialist domestic violence courts and a duty-lawyer service to support victims.
She said the government had implemented 90 of the 140 recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever inquiry into domestic violence chaired by former Governor-General Quentin Bryce in 2015.
"Everyone's got to be involved,'' Ms Palaszczuk said.
"The community needs to be aware as well.
"It's no good sitting back and letting things happen. We need to remember there are often children involved.
"If you are in a neighbourhood and something is happening, check on your neighbour and check things are OK.
"It's about maybe during the day, or the next night, going over and saying, 'Are you all right? Is there anything I can do to help?'''
Brisbane's rival network newsrooms have joined The Sunday Mail and The Courier-Mail in a statewide media blitz to support the #dosomething campaign.
Channel 7 newsreader Kay McGrath, who chairs the state government's Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council, said people could "save a life'' by reaching out to victims.
"There are many things we can do - it can be as simple as asking a friend, 'Are you OK? How can I help you?''' she said yesterday.
"We don't want anyone to put themselves in harm's way so call police if you're seriously concerned.
"In most DV deaths there are many bystanders who heard, saw or knew but didn't call 000.''
TEAM EFFORT NEEDED FOR TACKLING DV
DARREN Lockyer says when it comes to domestic violence, "the standard you walk past is the standard you set".
The former Brisbane Bronco and Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council member is calling on people to speak up if they see domestic violence.
Speaking with The Sunday Mail about the #dosomething campaign, Lockyer opened up about the Matt Lodge saga.
Lodge's NRL return has been controversial after his former partner Charlene Saliba made allegations of abuse relating to incidents in 2015, which Lodge has denied.
"He's made a mistake, he's had the consequences and there's still some consequences in front of him,'' Lockyer said.
Lockyer said #dosomething was not about "putting yourself in harm's way".
"Collectively as a society if we want to change things, everyone's got a part to play,'' he said. "This is not about being a dobber. It is more about if we want to make a change collectively we all have a part to play."