Domestic and Family Violence Portal

Resources to assist legal practitioners

The Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce has now handed two reports to the Attorney-General.


Its first report, Hear her voice, outlined how best to legislate against coercive control. The report makes 89 recommendations to the Queensland Government about essential reforms required to the domestic violence service and justice systems, as well as a four-phase plan that includes a comprehensive suite of legislative reforms.


The Queensland Government is supportive or supportive-in-principle of all of the Taskforce's 89 recommendations. The taskforce included recommendations for Queensland Law Society in volume 3 of the Hear her voice report (p. 603-615, items 39-40, 42, 44-47). QLS President Kara Thomson advised Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman in January that we support, or support in principle, all of the recommendations directed at QLS. The Society is pleased to share the steps to be taken in response to the taskforce recommendations.


The Taskforce's second report, Hear her voice 2, examines and reviews the experiences of women and girls across Queensland's criminal justice system. This report makes 188 recommendations to the Queensland Government for reforms to improve women and girls' experiences of the criminal justice system as victim-survivors of sexual assault and also as accused persons and offenders. The Attorney-General has stated the government is currently considering each of these recommendations.

Support services

DVConnect is a 24-hour crisis support line. Phone 1800 811 811

DVConnect Mensline is a support service for men experiencing or using domestic and family violence. Phone 1800 600 636

If you identify as non-binary, you can call the service you feel most comfortable contacting.

Mensline Australia is a 24-hour counselling service for men using or experiencing family violence. Phone 1300 789 978

Kids Helpline is a 24-hour counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25. Phone 1800 55 1800

Suicide Call Back Service is a 24-hour crisis and counselling line for anyone who is feeling suicidal or worried about someone. Phone 1300 659 467

08 Jun 2022

QLS responds to DFV taskforce recommendations

Queensland Law Society has responded to the seven QLS-specific recommendations in the 'Hear her voice' report. QLS President Kara Thomson said that QLS enthusiastically welcomes the opportunity to work with the Government in implementing the recommendations.

Read the response
21 Apr 2022

2022 Federal Election Call to Parties Statement

The Call to Parties Statement canvasses the views of the political parties and candidates on the issues perceived to be critical to the effective delivery of justice to the Australian community. 'Addressing violence against women and their children' can be found on page 7.

Read the statement
14 Apr 2022

QLS' response to the Taskforce's Discussion Paper 3

Discussion Paper 3 sought community feedback on women and girls’ experience of sexual violence in the criminal justice system, as well as the experience of women and girls as offenders.

Read the response
15 Jul 2021

QLS' response to the Taskforce's Discussion Paper 1

Discussion Paper 1 sought community opinion on how best to legislate against coercive control as a form of domestic and family violence. The paper also examines the need to create a new offence of ‘commit domestic violence’ in Queensland law and offers a range of options for discussion.

Read the response

QLS Resources

Resources to support practitioners in dealing with domestic and family violence, personally or professionally.

Image credit: Karolina Grabowska

LawCare

LawCare is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. QLS members can use this service to access confidential support to help navigate issues in both their personal and professional lives.

A specialised Domestic and Family Violence Helpline is available on 1300 338 465

More information

QLS Domestic and Family Violence Best Practice Guidelines

Bringing together the combined expertise of QLS and Legal Aid Queensland, the collaborative framework will help all legal practitioners in dealing with legal matters where domestic and family violence (DFV) is identified.

Read the Guidelines
Image credit: Mentatdgt

Family Law Accredited Specialists

A Family Law Accredited Specialist has a minimum of 5 years' post-qualification experience and ongoing substantial involvement in family law. They are recognised as leaders in the profession and are experienced in delivering exceptional client service.

Find out more
Image credit: Beatriz Perez Moya

QLS Domestic and Family Violence Committee

QLS committees carry out a wide range of functions, including assisting Council with advice and developing policy. The committees also provide a forum for the consideration of practical problems being experienced by members, and as a source of information on various issues for dissemination to members.

Click the button below to get in contact about a DFV legal policy issue.

Contact the DFV Committee

Videos


Education

Advanced Family Law

Targeted at experienced family law practitioners who want to apply and extend their skills and knowledge, this practical workshop uses complex legal scenarios and questions to explore various aspects of family law practice.

Find Advanced Family Law in the QLS Shop

Dispute Resolution Workshop

Relevant to a broad array of practice areas, our 2021 Dispute Resolution Workshop has been designed to refine and challenge you to be the best dispute resolution practitioner you can be. Work through scenarios with industry-leading facilitators, and fast-track your theory with the experts—all in the one, half-day Dispute Resolution Workshop.

See the Dispute Resolution Workshop

QIS: Improving communication with vulnerable witnesses

The Queensland Intermediary Scheme (QIS) Pilot Program is an initiative arising out of recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Learn how intermediaries can be used by the police, prosecutors, defence counsel and the courts to assist vulnerable witnesses understand and be understood.

Free for QLS members

QLS x Family Law

Unite with fellow practitioners and other interested professionals for a learning experience that will inform, challenge and inspire. Follow your curiosity to talks by local and global innovators, change-makers, and practice leaders; and share hands-on workshops designed to put new ideas into action.

Go to the QLS Shop

Articles

21 Jun 2022

Bumper justice budget for Queensland

The Queensland State Budget for 2022-23 has included a number of highlights for the legal profession, including delivery of the many commitments arising from the ‘Hear Her Voice’ report.

Read the article
20 Jun 2022

Report evaluates our first DFV court

An independent report evaluating the Special Domestic and Family Violence Court Trial in Southport found the court’s ability to provide sustained support, information and legal advice for victims and perpetrators was vital to access courts and improve justice experiences for victims.

Read the article
27 May 2022

New law to allow use of video evidence in DFV cases

Queensland Parliament last night green-lit a pilot project allowing the use of video recorded statements in criminal domestic and family violence (DFV) court cases.

Read the article
26 May 2022

Ending DFV 'will take the whole community'

Throughout the month of May, Queensland has observed ‘Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month’ to raise awareness of domestic and family violence (DFV) within the community and drive home the message that DFV will not be tolerated.

Read the article
11 May 2022

Queensland Childrens Court President to head DFV commission of inquiry

Highly-respected Queensland Childrens Court President Deborah Richards has been appointed to lead the commission of inquiry to examine Queensland Police Service (QPS) responses to domestic and family violence.

Read the article
10 May 2022

$363 million package to overhaul DFV laws

The Queensland Government today announced a historic overhaul of laws and practices to better protect women from domestic and family violence and hold perpetrators to account.

Read the article

External Resources

Magistrates Court Practice Direction No. 4 2022

The purpose of this Practice Direction is to facilitate procedural consistency in the determination of Applications for Domestic Violence Orders under the DV Act while allowing for flexible case-management to ensure justice is done in individual cases.

Read the Practice Direction

Queensland Courts’ domestic and family violence statistics

Data collections cover three topics: applications for domestic violence protection orders (DVOs) lodged, DVOs made, and criminal charges lodged relating to DFV. Figures are provided for larger court locations as well as statewide totals.

See the statistics

Queensland Court domestic and family violence forms

These are all the forms specific to domestic and family violence.

View the forms

Fair Work's Employer guide to family and domestic violence

This guide is designed to help employers understand their workplace obligations and support employees experiencing family and domestic violence.

Read the guide

Support Services

DV Connect

1800 811 811 (24/7)

We help Queenslanders find pathways to safety, away from domestic, family and sexual violence. We provide emergency transport and accommodation for your entire family including pets. We also provide safety planning, crisis counselling, intervention, information and referrals at no cost to you. We operate bridging accommodation residence Bella's Sanctuary, a safe haven for victim survivors to heal and rebuild their lives. We also educate through our Workplace Domestic and Family Violence Training program.


Kids Helpline

1800 811 811 (24/7)

We help Queenslanders find pathways to safety, away from domestic, family and sexual violence. We provide emergency transport and accommodation for your entire family including pets. We also provide safety planning, crisis counselling, intervention, information and referrals at no cost to you. We operate bridging accommodation residence Bella's Sanctuary, a safe haven for victim survivors to heal and rebuild their lives. We also educate through our Workplace Domestic and Family Violence Training program.


Legal Aid QLD

1300 65 11 88 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-4.30pm)

We give legal help to financially disadvantaged people about criminal, family and civil law matters.


Victim Assist

1300 546 587 (business hours)

We help victims of violent crime (including domestic and family violence) to recover. We can help you know your rights, find support and claim financial assistance.


DV Connect Mensline

1800 600 636 (9am-midnight, 7 days)

DVConnect Mensline is a free, confidential telephone counselling, referral, information and support, service for Queenslanders identifying as male, and who may be experiencing or using domestic and family violence.


Lifeline

13 11 14 (24/7)

Every 30 seconds, a person in Australia reaches out to Lifeline for help.

We are a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

We exist so that no person in Australia has to face their darkest moments alone.


Women's Legal Service QLD

1800 957 957 (Mon-Fri 9am-3pm)

Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLS) provides free legal and social work help with domestic violence, complex family law and sexual assault notes counselling privilege matters to women and people who live and identify as women in Queensland.

Priority is given to women with safety risks and those experiencing multiple forms of disadvantage.
For the safety and comfort of our clients WLS is a women’s only space. LGBTIQ friendly.


North QLD Women's Legal Service

1800 244 504 (free legal advice line)

With offices in both Townsville and Cairns, we assist women from Sarina in the south, to the Torres Strait in the north and west to the Northern Territory border.

Although we can provide information and/or referrals in any area of law, we primarily provide legal advice and assistance in the areas of family law (including divorce, parenting, financial/property settlement and child support issues), domestic and family violence, child protection, sexual assault, human rights, discrimination and Victim Assist.

1800RESPECT

1800 737 732 (24/7)

We know that talking about sexual, domestic and family violence can be hard. When you contact 1800RESPECT, you will talk to a trained counsellor who will listen and support you in what feels right for you and your situation.

We will work with you to help you identify what you can do and to find the right services or support for you. Everyone's situation is different and no one knows your situation better than you.


Suicide Call Back Service

1300 659 467 (24/7)

We can help anyone who is affected by suicide, which includes:

- Anyone who is feeling suicidal

- Anyone who is worried about someone

- Anyone who is caring for someone who is feeling suicidal

- Anyone who has lost someone to suicide

Health professionals supporting people who are affected by suicide.


QLD Indigenous Family Violence Legal Support

1800 88 77 00
(Mon-Thu 8.30am-5pm
Friday 8.30am-4pm)

We are a free legal service for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people affected by family violence or sexual assault. We were established to deliver culturally appropriate services across Queensland.


Immigrant Women's Support Service

07 3846 3490 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm)

The Immigrant Women's Support Service is a specialist service response for immigrant and refugee women from non-English speaking background and their children who have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence.

Mensline Australia

1300 78 99 78 (24/7)

MensLine Australia offers free professional 24/7 telephone counselling support for men with concerns about mental health, anger management, family violence (using and experiencing), addiction, relationship, stress and wellbeing.


Beyond Blue

1300 22 4636 (24/7)

We all have good days and bad days. Then there are those days when something isn't quite right, you've got something on your mind, or things just seem too much. Whatever it may be, it can make a real difference having someone to talk to. To hear what you have to say. And to give you advice. So, no matter who you are, or how you're feeling, reach out to us for support – we'll point you in the right direction so you can get the help you need.


Women Lawyers Association of Queensland

Women Lawyers Association of Queensland Inc (WLAQ) is an organisation dedicated to women who are jurists, practising professionals, legal academics, legal graduates and students of law.

As an association of professionals we seek to help members directly and indirectly by:

- Raising awareness and proposing changes on issues facing women in law

- Advocating for appointments on merit

- Providing resources around flexible working arrangements

- Liaising with other peak bodies including the Bar Association of Queensland and Queensland Law Society

- Supporting mentoring and guiding of more junior members

- Organising events to provide networking and educational opportunities