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Qld domestic violence deaths prompt action

One woman was bashed to death.


Another was shot in the head. A child was killed as she slept.

The horrific spate of family and domestic violence in Queensland in recent days has prompted Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to essentially offer a blank cheque to a support service and promise to rush new legislation through parliament.

On Monday, a father allegedly killed his six-year-old daughter in her bed and then tried to kill his other daughter, aged eight.

The next day, Gold Coast mother-of-one Tara Brown, 24, was violently beaten after allegedly being run off the road by her former partner, ex-Bandidos bikie Lionel Patea. She died in hospital on Wednesday night.

On Thursday morning, a woman was shot in the head at a Gold Coast McDonald’s and died, while another woman was injured and chased down a street in Brisbane’s west by her machete-wielding ex-partner.

The shooting was enough for Ms Palaszczuk to announce her government would fast-track domestic violence legislation through parliament when sittings resumed next week.

The legislation stemmed from a domestic violence taskforce report given to the government in February, which included 140 recommendations for new measures like the inclusion of a new criminal offence – non-lethal strangulation.

“My government has said that we will adopt all of those recommendations and we will now look at what elements of that report that we can fast track,” she said.

“What we’ve just seen over the last few days is atrocious, it’s horrific, it’s been absolutely vicious, and it’s had horrible consequences.”

The premier also vowed to offer more funding to DV Connect CEO Di Mangan, whose service offers support for domestic violence victims, having already committed $1.5 million earlier this year.

“I’ve made it very clear to her, if she needs any extra resources, my government is prepared to give those resources,” she said.

Ms Mangan confirmed her staff were reeling at the deaths, having known some victims, but emphasised those tragic outcomes represented a small fraction of the abuse her service’s clients endured.

Many endured “psychological terror” at the hands of men who weren’t violent often or even at all, but were still controlling and abusive.

“I think a lot of the calls we get are those women below the tip of the iceberg,” she told AAP.

“We have women ringing us every day who feel a shift, that something is changing or getting worse.”

Long-term Gold Coast anti-domestic violence campaigner Betty Taylor suggested the public nature of the recent attacks indicated a “sense of entitlement” among the perpetrators.

“These were very, very public displays of violence,” the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation board member said.

She said awareness needed to also extend beyond the “black-eye image” of physical abuse to encompass financial and emotional trauma suffered by victims.

* Women in danger should call triple zero immediately, while those suffering abuse can call DV Connect’s domestic violence hotline on 1800 811 811.

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