When police misjudge domestic violence, victims are slapped with intervention order applications

Emma Younger for ABC News writes:

When two police officers arrived at their door, Stephanie’s relief soon turned to panic.

After police interviewed Stephanie and Mark separately, the officers told her they’d evaluated the situation — and that she’d been identified as the predominant aggressor.

Shortly afterwards, she was in the back of a divvy van on her way to the police station, leaving her baby at home in a pram with her abuser.

At the station, police made an application for an intervention order against her.

Stephanie was immediately banned from going back home.

On top of that, child protection services were called in to ensure she didn’t pose a risk to her baby.

Her story is not unusual. Research by Women’s Legal Service Victoria suggests Victorian police are repeatedly mistaking domestic violence victims for perpetrators — and bungling the issuing of intervention orders designed to protect them.

It looked at the cases of 500 clients in the Melbourne Magistrates Court between January and May of this year, and found one in eight police applications for intervention orders were made against the wrong person.

“So we are worried that men are now seeing it as fit to claim victimhood as part of their tools and tactics in undermining their partner.”

Graham Ashton says responding to family violence calls consumes a staggering 40 per cent of the work of Victoria Police.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-15/domestic-violence-victims-mistaken-for-perpetrators/10120240
[ category Aust, domestic violence]

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