DVConnect tells Inquiry of examples of QPS cultural issues
In a recent submission to the Commission of Inquiry into QPS Responses to DFV, DVConnect highlighted evidence of pervasive cultural issues impacting on police responses to domestic violence and sexual assault.
DVConnect CEO, Beck O’Connor said “Our data, supported by narrative told through the words of people impacted by violence, highlights specific patterns of harmful attitudes prevalent within QPS culture.
In our experience, these attitudes contribute to high levels of misidentification of the person most in need of protection, seeing responses to family violence incidents laden with victim-blaming, and overall, a lack of accountability for people who choose to use violence.
We also witness and hear of the most excellent, above and beyond Police responses by some QPS Officers, that unfortunately get overshadowed by the negative.”
One of the examples DVConnect provided to the Inquiry came from a frontline practitioner, privy to a discussion between a Senior Constable and person using violence. The Senior Constable colluded with the person using violence by stating,
“Yeah mate, I know what you are going through, I am going through the same thing.”
Another example DVConnect provided to the Commission of Inquiry came from a police referral by a Brisbane station. The referral information provided the following commentary:
“Having issues with ex-girlfriend who appears to be clinging on. Ex-girlfriend suffers from mental health.”
These responses demonstrate a lack of understanding of trauma, and misidentification of the person most in need of protection.
DVConnect provided examples like this from across Queensland along with data which showed that 75 out of 100 women were misidentified as the primary aggressor by QPS.
DVConnect’s recommendations to the Inquiry included an enhanced Co-Response Model between DVConnect and QPS. This recommendation is to increase accountability for people using violence and reduce victim-blaming. Other recommendations included Specialist Involvement in Training and Change Management and taking on the Wiyi Yani U Thangani Implementation Framework to improve police responses for First Nations peoples.
These recommendations were additional to the recommendations tabled by Ending Violence Against Women Qld (EVAWQ).
DVConnect acknowledges the privilege of working alongside exceptional Queensland Police Officers and teams who seek to understand the impacts of trauma on people impacted by violence, and who work hard within the parameters of the criminal justice system to hold people who use violence to account. We appreciate these committed members of QPS and extend our thanks to them, including the Vulnerable Person’s Command/Units. We believe that if all Police Officers demonstrated this level of commitment, we would be much further in our collective goal to end domestic, family, and sexual violence.
To find out more about the Commission of Inquiry into QPS Responses to DFV, visit https://www.qpsdfvinquiry.qld.gov.au/