Professor Kerry Carrington, Dr Jess Rodgers and Vanessa Ryan
Last week, three members of QUT Centre for Justice made a submission to the Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce. The core of our submission addresses Part 2 in Discussion Paper 1: How do other jurisdictions address coercive control (police responses)? Our submission is based on our research into Argentina’s unique approach to responding to domestic and family violence through specialist police stations designed explicitly to receive survivors of gender violence. We highlight what can be learned from these stations to improve the policing and prevention of domestic and family violence (DFV) in Queensland.
Evidence from two Australian surveys (a Community survey (n = 566) and a DFV Workforce survey (n = 277) shows support for aspects of
how specialist police stations in Argentina operate. Evaluations for Australian co-located service trials involving police also shows support from police, workers and victims/survivors for innovative multidisciplinary responses to DFV. It is our view that the Queensland response to DFV should incorporate key aspects of Argentinian specialist stations to improve women’s safety.
Our submission recommends a trial with specific recommendations addressing station design, practice, evaluation, as well as the education and screening of police chosen to participate in a trial. We also make recommendations to improve the policing of DFV generally including protocols for dealing with victims/survivors of DFV and changes to training. These innovations could address police failings in responding to and protecting victims/survivors of DFV apparent across Queensland, but improvements to policing will not work alone. We make three key additional recommendations:
• a commitment to boost flexible funding packages for those experiencing DFV;
• a commitment to boost funding for social and affordable housing, and emergency accommodation, for victims/survivors of DFV; and
• a commitment to an intersectional approach to policy making.
You can access the full submission by clicking here.