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Domestic violence victims subject to ‘increased brutality’ amid pandemic

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Increased financial stress, higher alcohol consumption and being forced to stay home has created a perfect storm for a surge in domestic and family violence, Queensland officials say.

Increased financial stress, higher alcohol consumption and being forced to stay home has created a perfect storm for a surge in domestic and family violence, Queensland officials say.

Magistrates have been inundated with cases of domestic and family violence in their courtrooms, and paramedics are getting more calls for help.

The crisis has pushed the state government to hold an online domestic violence summit with stakeholders and advocates to assess where funding should be directed in the future.

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"I've been disturbed to hear from our emergency department staff that the reduction in sporting injuries and road trauma has been partially offset by trauma caused by domestic and family violence," Health Minister Steven Miles said.

"Anything we can do to address this increase in domestic and family violence during the pandemic is really important."

Service providers had reported a dramatic increase in the brutality and severity of attacks on women and children, Minister for Women Di Farmer said.

"If you are a victim of domestic and family violence, life is already incredibly challenging," she said.

"With the advent of COVID-19, those challenges have increased dramatically.

"If you are a victim you are probably now at home 24 hours a day with a perpetrator who is watching your every move, so your ability to call for help, your ability to escape is severely limited."

She said financial loss, cabin fever, a widespread rise in anxiety and a 70 per cent increase in alcohol consumption could push violent perpetrators over the edge.

There were no new diagnoses of the virus overnight and just 52 Queenslanders who have it are still sick.

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Officials will meet with hospitality and tourism industry representatives on Thursday to kickstart their way out of an economic crisis.

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Department store Myer will open the doors to five of its Queensland stores, after closing all of its Australian stores and standing down about 10,000 staff without pay on March 29.

Stores at Chermside, Carindale, North Lakes, Townsville and Toowoomba will open from Friday.

The battle to stymie the spread of COVID-19 has taken its toll on the state's workforce but it's not as bad as in other states, Treasurer Jackie Trad says.

Jobs in Queensland have declined by 6.5 per cent since Australia recorded its 100th COVID-19 case on March 14, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, Ms Trad says.

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However, it is the second-lowest figure in the country and below the decline of 7.5 per cent nationally between March 14 and April 18.

On the positive side, jobs may start to emerge if Queensland's restaurants and cafes reopen next month.

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/queensland-courts-indundated-by-domestic-violence-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/96a560c1-f747-42aa-af73-bc17fbda570a

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