In the past two weeks the Gold Coast has seen two deaths allegedly linked to Domestic Violence. These two tragedies occurred with the victims being alleged to being murdered by their partners or former partners.

The family of one of the victims, Kelly Wilkinson, has come forward to say that she had been in contact with police and support services daily in the lead up to her death as she feared for her safety. Her former partner who is alleged to have set her on fire was on bail for a number of serious offences and had only been released a week before her death.

Police have launched an internal review into this matter as the system failed to protect Ms Wilkinson. She had reported potential breaches and expressed concern for her welfare to police. It was confirmed that a Domestic Violence Order was in place between Ms Wilkinson and her former partner. In these circumstances it is alleged that this Order did not offer Ms Wilkinson the protection she required to prevent this tragic outcome.

Domestic Violence tragedies such as these cause the current protections in place for victims to be questioned as to whether they are effective enough to protect these individuals. The Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence In Queensland report from the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland provided 140 recommendations in regards to assisting the Queensland government in preventing deaths such as these.

The Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce which was established in February of this year, is hoped to provide further recommendations to protect victims by October of this year, especially in regards to coercive control. These tragedies have caused other ministers from the government to say that the taskforce needs to report back sooner to prevent further possible tragedies from occurring.

What further recommendations do you think need to be made by the Taskforce?

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