Report slams police misogyny, sexism and racism in DFV responses

A report into Queensland police responses to domestic violence has found “ample evidence” of a culture where attitudes of misogyny, sexism and racism have existed for years.

The State Government this afternoon released the final report of the three-month inquiry – headed by Queensland Childrens Court President and District Court Judge Deborah Richards – into police responses to domestic and family violence (DFV).

The 411-page report – ‘A Call for Change’– makes 78 recommendations for change to improve police responses to DFV, including the establishment of an independent police integrity unit that operates separately from Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission.

Judge Richards, in the report’s foreword, says the Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to DFV found ample evidence that there are cultural issues within the Queensland Police Service (QPS) that inhibit policing of DFV.

“There is evidence that there is a lack of understanding of the dynamics of, and power imbalance within, domestically violent relationships,” she said.

“There is evidence that there is significant under-resourcing which leads to reactive and at times short-lived reform and, in the frontline, confusion over expectations of performance.


“Despite the initial protestations of the Commissioner of Police and the President of the Police Union of Employees, the Commission has found clear evidence of a culture where attitudes of misogyny, sexism and racism are allowed to be expressed, and at times acted upon, largely unchecked – [w]here complaints in relation to such treatment are brushed aside or dealt with in the most minor of ways and those who complain are the ones who are shunned and punished.

“It is hardly surprising that these attitudes are reflected then in the way that those police who hold them respond to victim-survivors.

“It is a failure of the leadership of the organisation that this situation has been allowed to continue over many years unchecked.”

Read the report.

Read the Queensland Law Society submission to the inquiry.

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