“We need children, from birth to death, understanding as we progress through life that violence against anyone is not okay,” D’Ath said, adding that boys needed to know how to treat girls and girls needed to know how they should be treated.
“We need to look at our behaviour and how we treat each other. And yes, the statistics are that it’s more men against women, but we know domestic and family violence happens in all different circumstances.”
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington has called for police to have tougher laws, and greater resources, to remove and suitably punish the perpetrators of domestic violence. The altered home conditions brought on by the pandemic is expected to result in Queensland police recording 100,000 domestic violence interactions with the public this financial year, an increase of eight per cent.
D’Ath said that while punishment was important, and jail sometimes a deterrent, intervention needed to come earlier. She said helping people escape abusive or potentially abusive relationships remained a priority for the Palaszczuk government.
“The very sad reality is that when someone makes a conscious decision to take someone’s life they’re not considering what the penalty’s going to be at the end of the day,” D’Ath said.
“They’re not actually stopping and going ‘oh, I could get imprisoned for this, or I could get life, maybe I won’t do it’. They’re making a very deliberate decision to take the life of a loved one or to seriously harm a loved one. And, so, penalties are an important part of our justice system but they are not the only solution. Let’s not wait until people’s lives are lost and people are seriously injured before we start intervening.”
The government hosted a virtual domestic violence summit in May and given increased funding to service providers. Awareness campaigns have also been expanded and extended.
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