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Almost half the women murdered by an intimate partner in Queensland had previously been labelled by police as the perpetrator of domestic violence, research shows.

As the Queensland police again reckon with the brutal consequences of family violence – the deaths of Gold Coast women Doreen Langham and Kelly Wilkinson, who both repeatedly sought help – they have acknowledged and pledged to address systemic failings in their response.

But there are already concerns among experts and women’s advocates that police are resisting the need to look too deeply within, in the face of research last year into the misidentification of victims that found “racism, poor relationships with local communities, misogyny, and the patriarchal culture of the police service” were ongoing concerns. The research by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (Anrows) was prompted by figures from 2017 that of the 27 women murdered by an intimate partner in Queensland, 12 had been previously identified by police as the perpetrator in a domestic dispute and issued with a restraining order or formal charge.

It found “far-reaching” effects when women – especially First Nations women – were misidentified as offenders.

“I was flogged to a point where I couldn’t even brush my own hair, couldn’t … lift my arm up,” a Queensland woman told researchers last year.

“The female officer … tried to talk to me but because I wouldn’t talk to her … she went and spoke to him. I was sent to the hospital too because of my injuries … but because I didn’t talk, that [domestic violence] order went out against me.”

Alongside the long list of women’s experiences – including Julie, Dani and Lyla – who have previously exposed problematic attitudes among some police, Guardian Australia has uncovered several unreported instances that experts say are also troubling.

Last year in a regional Queensland courtroom, a police prosecutor provided impromptu legal representation to two men who fronted the court without a lawyer, and argued against the issue of a domestic violence protection order. One of the men was alleged to have assaulted a primary school-aged child.

Another Queensland officer, in posts on a private Facebook page for police officers, sought to collate complaints from colleagues about domestic violence legislation and the need to “remove the gender bias”.

In focus groups for the Anrows study, “numerous” Queensland police officers told researchers that body language at domestic disputes informed their judgement about which party required protection – a response the researchers said was “concerning when considered alongside the gendered and racialised attitudes that may inform some police decision-making”.

When asked about how police culture and attitudes might contribute to poor outcomes for women, assistant commissioner Brian Codd said he acknowledged instances where victims had been treated poorly, but that these cases were not the common occurrences or representative of most police.

“I must say I find the notion that some commentators have suggested this is because of some deep-seated cultural misogyny to be incredibly inaccurate and quite frankly quite offensive,” Codd told Guardian Australia

“I’m aware myself of some examples where there has been what I would describe as poor treatment [of women]. To leap to a conclusion these attitudes are born out of some sort of women-hating perspective, [I don’t accept] that.”

Codd, who heads the police domestic and family violence and vulnerable persons command, said poor outcomes in domestic violence cases could be the result of “compassion fatigue” given the volume of 107,000 annual domestic violence cases; and that police “cared very deeply” about protecting victims.

“I am confident in the vast majority of cases [police protect victims], but I’m not so naive as to think there are some occasions, whether it’s vulnerable persons – particularly women in a domestic violence space – where from time to time they might not get the optimal response they deserve,” Codd said.

“We’ve invested some time in trying to identify some of those subtle indicators of domestic violence and exploring our attitudes towards those. We’re realising more and more with research that it’s some of those controlling behaviours that we’re looking for in that preventative space.”

Angela Lynch, the chief executive of the Women’s Legal Service Queensland, said issues with police were far more common than a few high-profile incidents.

“It’s not every police officer, we know there are really good police out there who have dedicated their lives to the issue of domestic violence and family violence and worked every day to make people safer.

“Those police themselves find it very frustrating … and are silenced by a culture that requires them to conform and toe the organisational line.

“These high profile cases are not outlier incidents. It’s consistent with what we’ve been told every day, that incidents of domestic violence are not taken seriously by some police.”

Lynch said – and the Anrows research also found – that police often tended to look at calls or complaints about domestic violence in isolation, rather than consider the context of ongoing abuse.

“Often they’re trying to work out: is there a technical breach of an order when a woman makes a complaint, when what she’s really saying to them is ‘please make me safe’.”