Women are being misidentified as perpetrators of family violence and having intervention orders established against them resulting in them becoming increasingly vulnerable, according to a national report.
The research showed that women were "inappropriately" identified as perpetrators of violence due to factors including "misperceptions about victim behaviour" and "resourcing and time constraints".
Lead researcher and ANROWS CEO Dr Heather Nancarrow said the research showed that "the system" failed to protect women from homicides and often classed women as the greatest threat in a relationship.
"This research provides important context for a national understanding of how we can better support the 'person most in need of protection'," Dr Nancarrow said.
Fighting Back against family violence:
The report recommended that police police be better educated on identifying patterns of coercive control, decision-making processes and accountability between police and courts be improved and better guidance be offered to magistrates on how and when they can dismiss inappropriate applications and/or orders.
However, in Tasmania the police and justice systems operate differently to most other states and "family violence" was made an offence in 2004. As a result, family violence cases are dealt with differently and the history of violence in any given relationship is available to police.
Police Association of Tasmania president Colin Riley said, as a result of the laws in Tasmania, Tasmania Police were better equipped to approach family violence cases as they presented.
"Since family violence legislation has been firmly enshrined in Tasmania in more recent years, it takes a lot of discretion away from police, but police must act," he said.
"It's pretty black and white.
"As soon as you submit a report it's reviewed by an independent committee and if you haven't done the right thing they revisit it and they re-do the whole thing again.
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Mr Riley said family violence cases tended to end up in the hands of government after police made investigations.
"To a certain extent in Tasmania, we've taken control of family violence out of police. Even though we still attend and do what we have to do, the overwatch of what's happening is monitored across the whole of government organisation that manages it," he said.
Attorney General Elise Archer pointed to Tasmania's Safe at Home response to family violence, which she said enabled "informed, collaborative and integrated" responses to family violence.
"At these [Safe at Home] weekly meetings outputs from across Government focus on the delivery of interventions for adult victim-survivors, perpetrators and children, and gather and pool information and review risk and safety factors.
"This works as a mechanism for informing decisions regarding intervention strategies, including the issuing of protective orders, as well as applications to vary the conditions of previously issued protective orders.
"This ensures Government can ensure our on the ground responses to family violence, and policies more broadly are working as effectively as possible."
"FIGHTING BACK" AGAINST FAMILY VIOLENCE
The Examiner has launched a new campaign in an effort to raise more awareness about all aspects of family violence, and to fight to reduce barriers for victims of that violence.
As part of the first step of the campaign, The Examiner is petitioning to have an administrative cost for lodging an interim family violence order removed.
Join the fight and sign the petition here.
For those seeking help, Family Violence Counselling and Support Service is available on1800 608 122 from 9am to midnight weekdays, and 4pm to midnight on weekends and public holidays.
Telephone and online counselling is available at 1800 RESPECT or by calling 1800 737 732
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