inTouch – Position Paper

The Causes and Consequences of Misidentification on Women From Migrant and Refugee Communities Experiencing Family Violence

In February, inTouch released a position paper highlighting the concerning and ongoing issue of misidentification in response to family violence occurring within migrant and refugee communities.

Misidentification occurs when the victim-survivor of family violence is incorrectly identified as the predominant aggressor by law enforcement and the justice system. It is estimated to occur in every one in ten cases- and significantly more when incidents take place in culturally and linguistically diverse communities. And it can have devastating, long-term effects.

Issues covered in the paper include:

– Why misidentification of the predominant aggressor occurs
– Communities at high risk of misidentification
– Different types of misidentification, and how this can be manipulated by a perpetrator of violence (including systems abuse)
– Consequences of misidentification on the victim- survivor
– Effect of COVID-19
– Steps required to reduces instances of misidentification.