Horrific surge in domestic violence
The Palaszczuk government is spending $30m on domestic and family violence support services as abuse reports to some organisations surge more than 150 per cent.
The Queensland Premier announced the new investment following the launch of charity Small Steps for Hannah, which was established after the horrific murder of Hannah Clarke last year.
Reports of abuse continued to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Annastacia Palaszczuk saying "while the demand continues, our support continues".
"The support includes immediate emergency assistance as well as longer term measures that provide women and children with stability, security and a safer future," the premier told Queensland parliament on Thursday morning.
Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said domestic, family and sexual violence services had been stretched over the past two years.
"During the pandemic, violence against women started or become worse - the national conversation on women's safety and sexual assault and the recent tragic events has seen more women reach out for help," she told parliament.
"Over the past 12 months to two years, most organisations have reported increases in the number of clients, ranging from 5 per cent up to 157 per cent.
"Just this year, during January and March, when compared with the same period last year, one organisation reported a 98 per cent increase in the number of young women receiving specialist sexual assault counselling."
The Attorney-General said she welcomed funding for the sector in this week's federal budget but added: "I can't help but notice that it's short-term spending to make up for their poor performance on women's issues in the past six months".
"Respect for women starts at the top - it starts with our nation's leaders," Ms Fentiman said.
"Because we know violence against women is inextricably linked to gender inequality.
"And as important as this funding is, we need cultural change in the way we view and treat our women and girls."
Originally published as Horrific surge in domestic violence