The Centre for Women & Co chief executive officer Stacey Ross says fire victim Doreen Langham did everything she could to keep safe - but it failed

INVESTIGATE: Police comb the scene of the fire in Browns Plains where Doreen Langham (inset) and her former partner Gary Hely died. Photo: Australian Associated Press
INVESTIGATE: Police comb the scene of the fire in Browns Plains where Doreen Langham (inset) and her former partner Gary Hely died. Photo: Australian Associated Press

THE Centre for Women & Co chief executive officer Stacey Ross is calling for a shift in accountability from victim to perpetrator, community education, and continued funding.

This comes after Browns Plains grandmother Doreen Langham and her former partner Gary Hely died in a fire on Monday this week.

The 49-year-old grandmother had moved into a gated community in Myola Street with good security including 24-hour cameras.

Last month, she took out a temporary protection order against Mr Hely.

"There is rarely any onus on perpetrators to be accountable. We know first-hand that women do everything they can to be safe, but the perpetrator accountability is not working and we have systems that are broken," Ms Ross said.

She said Ms Langham had accessed services, and did everything she could to keep safe.

"When is it going to be about perpetrators doing everything they can to not hurt people?"

"We exhaust ourselves on the front line to ensure women, young people, and children are safe. Holding perpetrators accountable is the area that needs review," she said.

Ms Ross highlighted the seriousness of coercive control.

"The definition of DFV in legislation should ultimately include coercive control as it is a pattern of power, control and fear."

Earlier this month Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk flagged plans to criminalise behaviour such as isolating partners from friends, dictating where they're allowed to go and controlling their finances.

Former Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo leads a task force advising the government on potential laws.

She will consult survivors, service providers, legal experts, academics and the wider community, and propose the new laws by October.

Clinical services manager of The Centre for Women & Co Amy Wormwell said that more than just legislative change was needed.

"If extensive education around domestic and family violence, including coercive control doesn't occur alongside legislative change reform, then the challenge will remain the same," she said.

Ms Ross said educating children, young people and communities about what constitutes a healthy relationship, teaching people that they deserve to be safe in their lives and where to seek support is one of the centre's top priorities.

"Further education and early intervention supports and resources are needed. We hear all the time that it's a funding black hole, but if we don't educate and build the capacity of our community as a whole then we will be forever fighting this battle and be on the back foot as we are now."

Ms Wormwell said ongoing funding for the organisation was important.

"We throw everything we have at supporting anyone who accesses our service, including high risk cases.

"Breaking these cycles requires an incredible amount of resources. At present we are equipped to only provide service after the violence has occurred rather than look at prevention and intervention holistically," she said.

Miss Ross said the COVID-19 funding boost was a welcome relief.

"But when it ends in June with no promise of further support, our services, along with many more will be in crisis. The outcome of that will be catastrophic."

National numbers where you can reach out for support:

DVConnect's Women's Line - 1800 811 811 1800

RESPECT - 1800 737 732

In case of a life-threatening emergency call 000.

The Centre for Women & Co. (for women living in Logan and the Redlands) - 3050 3060.