Coast not immune to disturbing violence plague
THE Sunshine Coast has not been immune to the disturbing plague of domestic violence permeating throughout Queensland.
Queensland Police statistics showed in April the region was heading for a projected 17% increase in the number of domestic violence breaches recorded for the financial year.
Centacare SCOPE, the domestic and family violence support service, also noted a marked increase in referrals.
Manager Brigitte McLennan said the Sunshine Coast service had supported 644 clients in the five domestic and family violence courts in the three months from March to June.
They received 341 referrals from Supportlink in situations where police have attended domestic and family violence incidents.
They have also received 1213 requests for information about domestic and family violence in this time frame.
Senior Constable Mark Readman said the main suburbs of concern for reported incidences of domestic violence were Maroochydore, Caloundra and Coolum.
The figures for the Sunshine Coast follow the announcement former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce has appointed as the chair of a new taskforce aimed at reducing domestic violence incidents in Queensland.
The taskforce has been designed to address the rapid rise of the state's domestic violence incidents, with an average 175 reports daily.
Figures for the Sunshine Coast per 100,000 people are lower than the state average, with 19 breaches compared to 26 statewide, but what is of concern is they show no sign of diminishing.Senior Constable Readman said the upside of the figures was it showed women "feel empowered to be able to report matters to police".
This view was shared by Ms McLennan.
She said the number of clients presenting in high-risk situations was "increasing" as well as the number of clients presenting with domestic and family violence issues. "However, that might be due to the fact the public is more aware of domestic violence as a social issue," she said.
"This may be a consequence of the changes to the Domestic and Family Violence Legislation Act 2012, which has broadened the definition and understand that domestic violence as not just physical violence."