'Profound responsibility' for new victims' commissioner

Crime victims' voices will be championed by a leading advocate under a new role created to tackle rising levels of violence against women in Queensland.

Rebecca O'Connor has been appointed Queensland's first victims' commissioner in a role designed to advocate for the rights of vulnerable people and provide a platform for their voices to be heard in the justice system.

The role was a recommendation from the Women's Safety and Justice Taskforce's Hear Her Voice report following the stark rise in violence against females in Queensland.

Ms O'Connor is the chief executive of domestic violence support organisation DVConnect and sits on multiple councils and foundations for victims of crime.

"Being appointed as the first Victims' Commissioner is both a privilege and a profound responsibility," Ms O'Connor said in a statement.

"I am deeply committed to elevating the voices and concerns of those with lived experiences, ensuring our systems prioritise the rights and recovery of victim-survivors."

Statistics reveal there have been nearly 4600 sexual offences reported to police so far in 2024.

There were 8442 victims of sexual assault recorded in 2023 - a 14 per cent rise in victims from 2022.

The majority of victims were women and two-thirds knew their offender.

General assaults increased by 12 per cent to 58,479 victims in 2023 but three in five of those were domestic violence-related.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said Ms O'Connor was the perfect person for the new role, having used her professional career for social justice, championing equality and standing up for victims.

"There was an exhaustive search and selection process for this position and Ms O'Connor is eminently qualified for the role," Ms D'Ath said.

The victims' commissioner was introduced in legislation in April and the government has taken months to find the right person to take over from interim leader Jon Rouse.

Ms O'Connor will have the power to undertake systemic reviews and investigate whether additional rights should be added to the Charter of Victims' Rights.

Almost $20 million has been provided to the commissioner's office, which will begin developing a website to help guide victims through the criminal justice process.