Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman (right).
Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman (right). Max Fleet

Talk with neighbours and friends to stop domestic violence

DOMESTIC violence should be talked about over backyard fences, in the office lunchroom and in the classroom, says Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman.

Ms Fentiman yesterday led community leaders from across the city in a roundtable discussion on how to address violence in Ipswich homes.

Police officers, state politicians, corrective services officers, Aboriginal elders and groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and domestic violence service providers got together at Ipswich Civic Centre in one of five roundtables being held across the state.

"I think everyone agreed we could be doing better," Ms Fentiman said.

"This was a local community coming together to say we need to form a local solution."

She urged people to continue to bring the issue out from behind closed doors as a tactic to encourage the community to address domestic violence.

"We need people to tell their stories," she said.

"The more people talk about this issue.... the more we can tackle it."

This includes calling people out on controlling or violent behaviour, she said.

Ms Fentiman said a key point raised in the discussion was changing the community view of domestic and family violence and gender stereotypes.

The minister said community leaders were keen to see programs introduced at primary schools.

She said other solutions raised during the discussion included better coordinating the response to violence from service providers such as police and community groups.

Coordinated response is also a key issue raised in the Not Now, Not Ever report on domestic violence in Queensland.

The report was handed over the government in February by a special taskforce led by Quentin Bryce and had more than 140 recommendations for wide-sweeping change.

"That's part of the reason the roundtable was held," Ms Fentiman said.

She said the State Government would release its response to the taskforce report after the budget.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811.

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