Overview of the DFV reform program

In 2013–14, more than 66,000 domestic and family violence (DFV) incidents were reported to the Queensland Police Service, and there were 17 homicides in 2012–13 related to DFV. To address these alarming statistics, the Queensland Government established an independent Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland (the Special Taskforce), chaired by the Honourable Quentin Bryce Ad CVO. Find out more about the Special Taskforce, its actions and members.

In 2015 the Not now, not ever report (the report) was developed by the Special Taskforce after extensive consultation with Queenslanders.

The Queensland Government's Domestic and family violence prevention strategy 2016–2026 (the strategy) and the First action plan—developed in response to the report—set the direction for collaborative action to end DFV in Queensland, encouraging partnerships between the government, communities and business.

Since 2015–16, the Queensland Government has invested record funding of more than $1.3 billion to implement the ambitious domestic, family and sexual violence reform agendas.

What happened next?

The strategy outlines a positive plan of action to address DFV. It has a strong focus on prevention—stopping the violence before it happens—and supporting those living with violence.

Second action plan was released in November 2017, continuing the reform agenda for ending DFV under 3 key areas:

  • shifting community attitudes and behaviours
  • enhancing service responses
  • strengthening justice system responses.

We worked with the community and service providers—and partners such as schools, businesses, healthcare providers and legal aid services—to achieve the vision of a Queensland free from DFV.

The Third action plan was released in September 2019 and provided a blueprint for government and the community to work together to continue to deliver positive change.

This plan built on the significant work Queensland’s DFV reform program had delivered under the first 2 action plans, and focused on mobilising corporate and community action and supporting groups most vulnerable to—and impacted by—DFV.

Under the Third action plan, achievements across all 3 foundational elements have been delivered.

In October 2019, the Premier announced all recommendations from the report were delivered.

The Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce

In response to the Queensland Government’s 2020 election commitment to legislate against coercive control, the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce (the Taskforce) was established in March 2021.

Chaired by the Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC, the Taskforce’s role was to examine coercive control, and review both the need for a specific offence of ‘commit domestic violence’ and examine the experience of women across the criminal justice system.

The Taskforce released 2 reports to which the Queensland Government has responded. Find out more about the Queensland Government response to the Taskforce recommendations.

Where are we now?

The Queensland Government has commenced work on the systemic and legal reform to ensure Queenslanders are kept safe from DFV and that perpetrators are held to account in response to the Taskforce’s recommendations in Report One.

Reforms will support First Nations peoples, people with disability, children and young people, older people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people who identify as LGBTIQA+.

Following completion of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to DFV (Commission of Inquiry)—a key recommendation from the Taskforce’s first report—the Queensland Government will invest $100 million in a raft of reforms and initiatives to provide enhanced support and protections to support those impacted by DFV. The suite of initiatives includes hundreds of extra Queensland Police Service staff to provide specialised support, advocacy and liaison service for the victims of DFV.

The Fourth action plan of the strategy was released on 25 November 2022 and provides a comprehensive blueprint capturing the Queensland Government's DFV reform over the last 4 years of the strategy. The Fourth action plan incorporates government commitments in response to the Taskforce's Report One on coercive control.

There are also a number of initiatives under the Fourth action plan that align with recommendations made by the Taskforce's Report Two, noting the intersection of sexual violence and DFV.

The Fourth action plan also captures priorities identified from an independent evaluation of the Third action plan and a range of other DFV-related reports.

In this fourth and final action plan, the Queensland Government will:

  • continue to recognise that everybody, at every level, has a role to play in ending DFV and calls on individuals and communities, businesses, industry groups, faiths, and all frontline service providers to be a part of leading the change
  • work to ensure Queenslanders are—and feel—safe across all settings including at home, within the community, schools and workplaces
  • prioritise culturally appropriate and accessible responses for Queenslanders most likely to be impacted by DFV
  • listen to the brave voices and experiences shared by victim-survivors, frontline service providers, advocates and allies to adopt a trauma-informed practice
  • highlight the importance of prevention and early intervention as fundamental to ending DFV
  • ensure responses to DFV are evidence-informed and evaluated
  • acknowledge that key learnings must be shared to contribute to building whole-of-community capacity to respond to DFV
  • work to ensure perpetrators are supported to stop their violent and abusive behaviours and are held accountable.