Support workers have expressed doubt about DVOs some men are taking out against their partners.
GOLD Coast men are taking out domestic-violence orders against their mothers, partners and relatives but support workers are sceptical of the applications’ legitimacy.
About 30 per cent of domestic-violence and family protection orders at Southport Magistrates Court in the first three months of this year were to men, rather than women.
The specialised domestic-violence court at Southport recorded 941 domestic-violence orders from January 1 to March 30 this year — of those 260 were awarded to men.
Director of the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Amy Compton-Keen said male perpetrators of domestic violence were known to take out orders against women as a means of control.
“It’s about them trying to get in first and, from our experience working with women, if the man has a good story he is more often believed,” she said.
“That’s one of the dynamics of domestic violence, that the man comes off looking like he is a perfectly great guy but is often the perpetrator and uses the system to control the woman and she ends up taking the rap for stuff he has done.”
Despite this, Buckland Allen Criminal Lawyers partner Jodi Allen said courts could order cross protection orders between parties, and women could still lodge an application against a man, even if he had been awarded a protection order against her.
“There is nothing stopping a woman making an order against a man after an order has been made against her and this doesn’t need to be done during the same court proceedings,” Ms Allen said.
She also said she had previously acted for men who were applying for orders against mothers, relatives, or even a girlfriend’s ex-partner.
Ms Compton-Keen said women subject to orders against them had often lashed out after sustained abuse.
“We are seeing a lot more women who are respondents and it is often a form of resistance or they’re retaliating in self defence, saying enough and pushing back,” Ms Compton-Keen said. “I’ve never met a perpetrator yet that doesn’t see themselves as a victim.”
Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said there were genuine instances of domestic violence against men.
“Yes, there are examples of it, but women committing domestic violence against men are definitely in the minority,” he said.
Queensland AIDS Council executive director Michael Scott said the number of men taking out the orders could be attributed to the growing understanding of domestic violence in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community.
“While it has always been an issue, people now feel like they are going to be taken seriously by authorities,” Mr Scott said.