“Gender-bias” in DV laws will leave men out in the cold: Dametto

12th May 2022

Nick Dametto MP

Queensland’s new domestic violence laws, which will include the criminalisation of coercive control, will be undeniably “gender-biased” according to the State’s Attorney-General.

Yesterday, Katter’s Australian Party Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto asked the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Women and Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman how the Queensland Government’s implementation of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce 89 recommendations would impact male victims of domestic violence (DV), who make up 20 per cent of cases.

“The Queensland Government will implement all 89 recommendations made by the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce, including new coercive control laws,” Mr Dametto said.

“Homicide victims like Stanley Obi and Kerry Rooney and the men who make up 20 per cent of domestic violence victims here in Queensland must not be forgotten.

“Will the Attorney-General ensure gender equality when drafting legislation and implementing these recommendations?”

In her response the Attorney-General said that while any new DV legislation would apply to all Queenslanders, it would be subject to a “gendered lens”.

“We know that domestic and family violence is inextricably linked to gender inequality … that is why we absolutely need to work with young men on the attitudes and behaviours that underpin the cycle of violence.

“We have a huge problem in our system. We have a huge problem with men’s violence against women, and if we do not apply a gendered lens to this problem we will never be successful in eliminating domestic and family violence.”

Mr Dametto said domestic violence was a scourge that has no place in Queensland communities, but his concern was that most people assumed Queensland’s legal system was based on equality of all people.

“While women are disproportionately affected by DV, it is not a problem exclusive to that gender,” he said.

“At least 20 per cent of DV victims are men, equating to one in every five cases – this is not insignificant.

“On behalf of male victims of DV, and all those Queenslanders who believe in equality before the law, I put this Question without Notice to the Attorney General in the hope she would commit to ensuring fairness as work on this important legislation continues.

“In my opinion, the Attorney-General’s response leaves men to suffer in silence and leaves the ones who need to reach out for help with domestic violence out in the cold.”

– ENDS –

Nick Dametto MP