For years domestic violence workers around Australia have been warning of a growing misidentification crisis: of mounting cases where police have mistaken the victim for the perpetrator and taken out an intervention order against them or charged them with criminal offences. Often it’s because female victims have presented as “hostile” or “hysterical” — or because they’ve fought back or defended
themselves — and police haven’t gathered all the facts, or dug into the couple’s history of coercive control, or realised an abuser is trying to manipulate the system.