More than 100 DV protection orders breached

MORE than 100 domestic violence orders were breached in the Springfield district between July 2017 and March 2018, and legal experts say more may not have been reported.

Police recorded more than 500 domestic violence occurrences in the region across the same nine months.

"That is a huge number," Springfield domestic and family law expert Katherine Manby said, raising concerns domestic violence remained behind closed doors. She said these reports also failed to highlight the levels of emotional and ­financial abuse in the community.

Ahead of a candle lighting ceremony for DV victims tonight, Ms Manby said awareness would increase reported incidents and, as a result, breaches would likely also increase. LNP spokesman for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Stephen Bennett said the number of breaches was alarming.

LNP spokesman for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Stephen Bennettt
LNP spokesman for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Stephen Bennettt

"Police are dealing with record numbers of DV ­orders and we need tough laws to ensure that breaches of these orders are treated seriously under the law," Mr Bennett said.

"Victims should be able to have confidence that court orders will protect them from further abuse but, sadly, under this soft on crime Labor government they aren't worth the paper they're written on."

"Unfortunately, despite receiving a comprehensive review of domestic violence laws in Queensland in early 2015, initiated by the LNP, Labor has refused to action all of the recommendations and has no plan to reverse the record number of DV order breaches."

Queensland Police data for July 2017 to March 2018 shows 127 breach of order offences in Greater Springfield.

A Queensland Police spokeswoman said "the moderate increase in breaches of domestic violence protection orders for the 2015-16 financial year in Queensland can be partly explained by the increase in awareness and understanding of domestic and family violence by police officers and the community more broadly and legislative amendments made to the Domestic and Violence Protection Act 2012".

"The QPS is working with the Queensland Government to implement recommendations made in the Not Now, Not Ever …. report released in 2015.

"All breaches of Domestic Violence Orders are taken seriously by police and should be reported by victims/survivors no matter how minor they may seem."

Ms Manby said that one of the biggest issues for women in this situation was the action being taken by the relevant authorities when a breach ­occurred.

Katherine Manby of VM Family Law at Springfield. Ms Manby has a passion for helping with domestic violence and family law cases.
Katherine Manby of VM Family Law at Springfield. Ms Manby has a passion for helping with domestic violence and family law cases.

"It has been the case (that those whose orders have been breached) have felt nothing is going to happen but the more the courts and the police are able to take action now - the more change will occur," she said.

"In the past (the slap on the wrist for breaching an order) has given (victims) a sense of failure within the system and can lead to people not taking action,"

VM Family Law will host Springfield's first domestic violence candle light vigil tonight (May 2) to support families and those affected by DV and raise community awareness.

VM Family Law Candle Lighting ceremony

Remembering victims of domestic and family violence

■ The Greater Springfield Candle Lighting Ceremony will begin at 5.30pm at Robelle Domain, Springfield Central on May 2

■ The event is expected to go for an hour

■ The event is free to attend

■ It coincides with the 2018 National Day to Remember