Domestic violence rates have surprisingly dropped since the coronavirus pandemic. But our top cop says that’s not the full story.
Domestic violence rates have surprisingly dropped since the coronavirus pandemic. But our top cop says that’s not the full story.

Trapped in terror: How lockdown impacts violence at home

DOMESTIC violence order breaches have skyrocketed 150 per cent since 2010, the latest state government data reveals.

But an advocate has warned the shocking figures could be "just the tip of the iceberg".

In the 2009-10 financial year, DVO breaches totalled 9701. That total soared to 28,396 last year, which represents a 153 per cent increase on a per capita basis. The figures are drawn from Queensland Treasury's Crime Report for the 2018-19 financial year.

Red Rose Foundation chief executive Betty Taylor said she believed the staggering increase was not the whole story.

"I would say this is probably just the tip of the iceberg because we get a lot of victims coming to us saying their partners are not being breached on every occasion" she said.

"It's a significant indication of the extent of domestic violence."

Ms Taylor's comments come after the horrific murder of Brisbane woman Hannah Clarke and her children at the hands of her estranged husband in February.

Ms Taylor said Queensland still had a long way to go towards holding domestic violence perpetrators to account.

"There are a lot of perpetrators ignoring court orders," she said.

"A lot just walk out of court with no conviction recorded. We need the justice system to be a safe place for victims."

Betty Taylor, CEO of the Red Rose Foundation
Betty Taylor, CEO of the Red Rose Foundation

The statistics reveal parts of the Moreton Bay region had the largest increase in domestic violence order breaches over the nine-year period.

The area recorded a 310 per cent jump per capita, with just 131 incidents in 2009-10 and 704 in 2018-19.

Queensland Police Service Commissioner Katarina Carroll said there had been a 6 per cent decrease in domestic violence and a 20 per cent decline in applications for domestic violence orders since March 6.

However police are concerned the decrease is a result of barriers to reporting caused by COVID-19 movement restrictions.

Ms Carroll also announced that a new online reporting tool for domestic violence would be established in coming days.

"What concerns me is there has been a slight decrease, but is that because people are at home, and they can't take out orders or report breaches?" she said.

"We are monitoring this very closely and we remain vigilant in this area because we are focusing on our victims and making sure that the most vulnerable are protected.

"So I think it's incredibly important for people … that are in those circumstances, to try any way to get in contact with us."

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.

 

 

 


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