ALMOST one person everyday in the Redlands is breaking a Domestic and Family Violence Protection Order taken out against them, according to statistics released by Queensland Police.
Police issued 330 contravention charges to 213 people in the Redlands last year, with 161 people charged so far this year up until November 24 for the same offence.
The figures have not surprised Working Against Violence Support Service acting general manager Toni Meyer, who labelled domestic violence as a scourge on the bayside area.
“Domestic violence is endemic and the Redlands is no different,” she said.
The Redland City local government area statistics were released by Queensland Police after a national database was introduced on November 25 to enable police and court agencies to share DFVPO information with other states.
This will mean documents can be uploaded to ensure restraining orders carry legal force even when victims or perpetrators move interstate.
When asked whether DFVPOs were effective at protecting victims given the number of breaches, Ms Meyer said the legal order, which could be imposed for five years, ensured police could act quickly to arrest someone who became menacing after the breakdown of an abusive relationship.
“(They) certainly increase police response and there is a lot more police can do if a DFVPO is in place,” she said.
“But whether a DVO (protects) a women depends on the system from police to the judiciary.
“Some men are going to continue to breach them.”
While no information about the sex of the victims or offenders was given by police in the release of DFVPO contravention statistics, Ms Meyer said she believed women were most vulnerable to domestic violence.
Some men were victims also, especially those in same sex relationships.
“We do see evidence (of domestic violence) as gendered violence but that is certainly not saying there aren’t male victims,” she said.
She said 7697 women and children were helped by WAVSS in the Redlands last financial year compared to 6796 in Logan City, a shocking tally given Redland’s population of about 152,000 was less than half of Logan’s.
While the Redlands number included clients who travelled from Wynnum for court assistance, Ms Meyer said the Redlands’ result was higher than expected.
“I was surprised to see those numbers,” she said. “The Redlands do get a lot of repeat women coming in for support."
However its not all bad news. Ms Meyer said she believed the number of domestic violence incidences had not grown.
Instead victims were talking about the problem and taking action more often to report it.
Her thoughts echoed those of Bayside South Brisbane district officer Acting Chief Superintendent Mick Niland.
In October, Superintendent Niland attributed the growth in DFVPO breaches across the South Brisbane policing district to victims gaining more confidence to speak out and the work of police.
As reported in Queensland Police Service’s statistical review, the number of breaches to DFVPO increased to 2142 in 2016/17 from 1906 in 2015/16 across the South Brisbane policing district.