Gympie's scary share of new DV charges
RELATIVELY new domestic violence laws have highlighted the widespread nature of serious and potentially fatal violence in our homes.
The state government yesterday reported that nine people in the Gympie Magistrates Court district literally went for the throat in domestic violence offences reported to authorities in the first year of the new laws, which came into effect on May 5 last year.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the 10 charges of strangulation in that period involved nine accused people in the Gympie area.
And between December 1, 2015 and April 30, 2017, 147 charges of violence in the area included the notation that they were "domestic violence offences.”
In a district that runs from Goomeri and Imbil to Traveston, Gympie and the Cooloola Coast are part of a state-wide picture of 798 people charged with non-fatal strangulation offences.
And 16,303 charges since December 1, 2015 have had the wording "domestic violence offence” attached, to indicate their context.
Ms D'Ath said the laws created a specific non-fatal strangulation offence, with a maximum penalty of seven years jail.
"We introduced this legislation because strangulation is known to be an important indicator of escalating domestic violence.
"Choking, strangling or suffocating a person is now an offence in its own right.
"In the past 12 months there have also been 409 orders to have previous convictions declared domestic violence offences to ensure sentencing judges have a full grasp of a person's criminal history.
"This doesn't necessarily mean more cases, but we're able to identify the specific nature of the assault and people feel more able to come forward.”