Massive leap in applications sees government extend DV court
OVERWHELMING demand is behind the extension of a six-month trial of Queensland's only specialist domestic and family violence court.
Two specialist magistrates will now hear domestic violence applications at the Southport court until June 30 next year.
There have been 1752 DV applications to the court between September 1 and January 6.
The figure is 57% higher than the same period the previous year.
The experiment will eventually influence how the State Government rolls out family abuse-specific courts across Queensland.
The trial was due to end next month but the extension means it will not be evaluated until it has operated for 12 months.
There are also more duty lawyer services and support staff to help victims navigate the system.
Justice Minister Justice Yvette D'Ath said the increase in applications showed victims were gaining the confidence to come forward.
"It is necessary to extend the trial to allow us adequate time to assess the long-term needs," Ms D'Ath said.
*For 24-hour support in Queensland phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811, Men's Line on 1800 600 636 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
- APN NEWSDESK