People on the front line of domestic violence gathered in Brisbane today, in a bid to turn the tide on the problem. It’s costing Australia $20 billion every year.

Abigail Blaikie reports.


The theme of today’s forum was Step Up to Make a Difference.

Empty seats symbolised those who fell victim to domestic violence.

Dep. Comm. Brett Pointing, Qld Police: “Well we respond to about 200 a day, so it’s 1400 a week, and of course those stats are going up.”

But the Deputy Commissoner says an increase in reported incidents means people have more confidence in coming forward.

Dep. Comm. Brett Pointing, Qld Police: “At the heart of domestic and family violence is a complete and lack of respect for our fellow human being.”

Here to tell her story, Dionne Fehring’s two children were murdered by their father.

Dionne Fehring, Domestic Violence Victim: “I think of Jessie and Patrick every day and it’s taken so much away from me.”

Like Dionne, so many other Queenslanders will carry the scars for the rest of their lives.

In the last 12 years, 254 Queenslanders have been murdered at the hands of domestic violence, 23 of those have occurred in the past year.

Delegates here today maintain it’s now not a matter of tougher laws it’s everyone’s responsability to turn the tide.

Betty Taylor, Domestic Violence Action Group: “We have to change the ending, that’s our message, that we have to change the ending, we can’t for the families in there but we can for the others.”

If you or someone you know needs help contact DV Connect.

Abigail Blaikie, QUT News.