High risk women, children at centre of DV crackdown

IPSWICH women and their children at high risk of serious harm or death in domestic violence cases are the target of a new High Risk Team.

It's one of eight specialist teams funded under a $26.3 million state government investment over four years as part of its state-wide crackdown on domestic and family violence.

Ipswich High Risk Team members is made up of police, health, corrections, housing, child safety and a range of non-government services.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said there had been a 10.8% increase in the number of domestic violence orders within the last year.

"DVO breaches also increased by 19% between 2015/16 and 2016/17, up from 984 to 1170," Ms Howard said.

"The stats also show 47 domestic violence strangulation offences in Ipswich during 2016/17." Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the rising figures were an concern but were also an indicator of progress being made.

"More people than ever are realising that what is happening to them at home is not OK, and that there is support available to them when they make the brave decision to leave a violence situation," Ms Farmer said. Ms Farmer said it was important for women to reach out if they needed help.

"Helping women who are escaping violent relationships takes a co-ordinated effort," Ms Farmer said.

"We want Ipswich women to know there is a network of services working together to support them and keep them safe."

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said a mix of agencies worked together to ensure victims were kept safe.

"The Ipswich High Risk Team is made up of officers from key agencies such as police, health, corrections, housing, child safety and a range of non-government services," Mr Madden said.

"They're able to give culturally appropriate responses to victims and their children."

Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller said the worrying number of domestic violence cases in Ipswich justified the need for a High Risk Team.

"One agency on its own is not always able, or best positioned, to provide the breadth of actions necessary to reduce risk of victims," Ms Miller said.

For more information on the Queensland Government's actions to tackle domestic and family violence, go to www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/end-domestic-and-family-violence.



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