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Advocates seek probe into domestic violence

CALLS for a royal commission into family violence in Queensland have been backed by the head of the Ipswich Women's Centre Against Domestic Violence.

Labor candidate for Ipswich Jennifer Howard has called on the State Government to follow the lead of the Victorian Labor Party in instituting a Royal Commission into Family Violence in this state.

Ipswich Women's Centre Against Domestic Violence general manager Gabrielle Borggaard said it was "something crucial to put on the top of any type of agenda".

"If you are looking at child protection matters, at least 80% are related to domestic and family violence," she said.

"I think 50%-plus of police callouts are related to domestic and family violence matters and we have at least one woman killed in Australia due to domestic and family violence.

"So it is a very serious issue."

Ms Borggaard said court statistics indicated domestic violence in Ipswich was increasing.

"It has been a steady increase in the last six years that I have been the manager here.

"I think back to the court numbers we had in Ipswich when I started and what they are now and the number of women that apply for domestic violence protection orders have almost doubled.

"Ipswich is obviously a growing region but I don't think that is the only reason we are seeing this increase."

Ms Howard has long supported women's causes and been involved in campaigns against domestic violence. She said Queensland should follow Victoria's lead.

"Domestic violence is a scourge on our community," she said.

"Across Australia, one woman every week dies as a result of domestic violence and thousands of people - almost all women and children - are terrorised, physically hurt and have their confidence destroyed at the hands of violent, threatening partners."

"In Victoria 40% of police work is domestic violence and the figure, no doubt, would be the same here."

"Ipswich has had its own terrible high profile cases lately - Jolene Mills, the alleged murder by her husband of Allison Baden-Clay and the other less well publicised cases that don't make those kinds of headlines."

Ms Howard said, despite massive effects, the services that seek to respond to domestic violence were under-resourced and constantly felt they were engaged in "a desperate battle".

"Following on the heels of the defunding of the Ipswich Tenancy Advocacy Service, community and mental health services in Ipswich are in the process of being privatised," she said.

Topics:  domestic violence, ipswich women's centre against domestic violence, jennifer howard




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