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Piecemeal responses show Australia still doesn’t ‘get’ domestic violence

Terry Goldsworthy writes in The Conversation (28.9.15) that while the initiatives contained in Turnbull’s announcement were positive, ‘it was disappointing to see the use of gender to frame the issue. Yes, statistics tell us that women are the most prominent victims. But it almost seemed that Turnbull was talking specifically to domestic violence between intimate partners to the exclusion of other forms of family violence’.

‘A very broken system’: why are Queensland police still getting domestic violence cases so wrong?

Ben Smee reports in The Guardian (8.5.21) on further troubling cases of domestic violence in Queensland, with survivors and families saying more resources and culture change are needed in policing these crimes.

‘Thumbing through Queensland coroner’s reports from the past decade, there are plenty of blunt warnings to police that highlight problematic responses to domestic violence victims. They include the inquest into the 2011 killings of Antony Way, Tania Simpson and her daughter Kyla, which detailed how a police officer did not consider the killer’s prior controlling behaviour to be domestic violence.

‘The inquest into the death of Mr M – killed by his partner’s ex – described the police response as “inadequate” and beset by “inaction and tardiness”. The report on the death of Indigenous woman Elsie Robertson in 2013 outlined what police themselves concluded was “an unreasonable delay” of more than an hour between a call for assistance and officers attending the address in Cairns.

‘A common thread in many of these reports is the response by police to scrutiny and outright criticism about their responses to domestic violence. They have repeatedly committed to reform, to better educate officers and to review policies and procedures.’

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