LNP’s plan to rein in domestic violence scourge
QUEENSLAND will legislate a new offence of "coercive control", emergency payments of $2000 will help women leave abusive relationships and technology would warn victims when their tormentors got too close under an LNP government.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington will today unveil a suite of reforms as she commits to a full review of how the criminal justice system can better protect domestic violence victims in the wake of the tragic murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children.
Ms Frecklington told The Courier-Mail an LNP government would review the strangulation offence and doubling the seven-year penalty to align with the 14-year penalty applied for grievous bodily harm.
She said she would also implement Australian-first laws of "coercive control", modelled on laws in England and Wales that make it a criminal offence to behave in a way that makes another feel controlled, dependent, isolated or scared.
Another specific domestic violence summary offence would also be introduced and police would be able to issue domestic violence orders and breaches on the spot.
Ms Frecklington committed $500,000 to roll out 200 personal safety devices that would use GPS trackers worn by a perpetrator to warn high-risk survivors and their families if their abuser was nearby.
And $1 million in extra funding would go to the Women's Legal Service, as well as an extra $1 million to other frontline support providers.
Ms Frecklington said she shared in the community's grief over the deaths of Ms Clarke and her young children, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey.
"We owe it to Hannah, her three children, and the countless other victims of domestic violence to do whatever it takes to make Queensland safer," she said.
"It's time for Queenslanders to come together to deal with the issue because everyone deserves to live safely and free from violence.
"One of the reasons I became an MP was I saw the system fail domestic violence victims when I worked as a lawyer in Kingaroy.
"I helped families escape violence as a lawyer and I'm determined to keep helping them as a politician."
The LNP's commitment follows community demands for all governments to do more.
Ms Frecklington said the issue was above politics as she extended an olive branch to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to work together for the sake of domestic violence survivors.
"Queensland's laws are clearly failing to protect victims and every aspect must be looked at to fix the system," she said.