LAWS against violence have been strengthened after the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Bill 2011, was passed last night.
Community Services Minister Karen Struthers said the passing of the Bill marked the most significant domestic and family violence law reform since the 1980s.
"Domestic and family violence devastates the lives of thousands of Queenslanders every year," Ms Struthers said.
"A Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research report shows 60 per cent of women who had been physically abused did not seek help despite knowing support was available.
The report, Ms Struthers said, showed that more than a third of women, or 36.3 per cent, said feelings of shame contributed to them remaining in an abusive relationship.
"It's vital we continue to speak out against such violence and encourage women to come forward and get help.
"These new laws ensure people who commit domestic violence are held accountable and allow people affected to feel safer and better protected."
Ms Struthers said the State Government invested more than $190 million a year to tackle domestic and family violence in Queensland.
"This funding includes emergency accommodation, support for families and children, court assistance, perpetrator education programs and the Department o f Communities' Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Unit, based in the coroner's office," Ms Struthers said.
For help in dealing with domestic and family violence call the DVConnect helpline on 1800 811 811 or for more information about the government's violence prevention initiatives visit www.communities.qld.gov.au/violence-prevention
Key features of the new legislation:
- the introduction of short-term police protection notices;
- increased penalties - up to three years imprisonment for breaches of DV orders;
- a new definition for domestic and family violence that recognises contemporary understandings of its nature and dynamics;
- better information to guide administration of the legislation, and;
- issuing conditions to remove a perpetrator from the family home and intervention and counselling program attendance.