Domestic violence requires leadership.
It’s true that domestic violence is not a simple problem to solve, but, it is not so complicated that solving it is beyond us. As Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has shown over the past few days it’s possible to demonstrate genuine leadership on this scourge.
It is possible to not just categorically denounce this violence but to back it up with action.
It is possible to fast-track the implementation of practical changes to help victims of domestic abuse.
Changes like ensuring individuals who go to police stations in Queensland fearing domestic violence will no longer have to wait in line.
To introduce a trial of a ‘one-stop-shop’ for support services in certain regions.
To conduct an urgent roll out of 300 body-worn cameras for police on the Gold Coast to assist in gathering evidence.
To ensure that Cabinet addresses this issue today. That Queensland’s most senior ministers will consider making plans to bring in the recommended Death Review Panel, to identify gaps in support available for victims of domestic violence, and consider introducing tougher penalties for perpetrators.
To call on the Prime Minister to convene an urgent national crisis summit.
“Let’s come together, let’s tackle this issue as a nation and let’s see what is the best practice that is occurring in each state and territory. Surely that’s not too hard for the PM to say, ‘yes, I am taking a leadership role in this issue. Yes, I want to bring the states and territories together’,” Palaszczuk said.
“And I don’t believe that waiting until the end of November when we all come together in COAG — it’s too far away. We need to act decisively and we need to come together as a nation as soon as possible.”
Alone the steps proposed by Queensland’s Premier, might not amount to a solution to domestic violence. But taken together combined with a ready commitment to address this issue as a matter of urgency? It certainly beats doing nothing.
Last week’s catastrophic events, in which five women and two children were killed, paint a deeply disturbing picture of what we might expect should the status quo continue.
Family violence is killing too many innocent Australians: it’s a crisis that warrants crisis-style leadership.
Should the Minister for Women and Prime Minister, Tony Abbott be looking for inspiration in this realm he should look no further than Queensland.