DFV statistics

Queensland Courts’ domestic and family violence (DFV) statistics

Data collections cover three topics:

  • Applications for domestic violence protection orders (DVOs) lodged
  • DVOs made
  • Criminal charges lodged relating to DFV

Figures are provided for larger court locations as well as statewide totals.

Accuracy of data

Care is taken to ensure the accuracy of data published on this page, however, revised data may be published where errors or omissions occur.

Applications lodged

An application for a DVO can be made by:

  • a police officer
  • another person. These are called 'private applications'. Private applications can be made by:
    • an aggrieved
    • an authorised person for an aggrieved
    • a person acting under another Act for an aggrieved
    • a party to a child protection proceeding
  • a court. When sentencing an offender for a domestic violence offence, a court can make a protection against an offender on its own initiative.

Data below shows the number of applications for DVOs lodged. New (or ‘initiating’) applications and applications to vary an existing DVO are shown separately.

Table 1 shows the trend in lodgments over the previous 5 years as well as the current year-to-date figures. The figures are also broken down to show the nature of applications for DVOs brought to court, that is:

  • who has lodged the application
  • gender of the aggrieved
  • relationship of aggrieved and respondent parties
  • how the application was lodged.

Table 1. DVO applications (statewide)

Application type2012-132013-142014-152015-162016-17No. variance 2015-16 to 2016-17% variance 2015-16 to 2016-172017-18 YTD (to 31-5-18)
Initiating23,84325,34026,80032,25232,072-180-0.60%27,983
Vary protection orders4,9815,6446,3729,22010,1299099.90%9,465

Table 2. DVO applications (Magistrates Courts with the most lodgments) initiating applications only

Location2012-132013-142014-152015-162016-17No. variance 2015-16 to 2016-17% variance 2015-16 to 2016-172017-18 YTD (to 31-5-18)
Southport2,1642,3912,6913,5153,346-169-4.81%2,663
Beenleigh1,8482,0342,1702,5942,509-85-3.28%2,207
Ipswich1,2021,4521,6551,7831,97519210.77%1,620
Townsville1,1171,3971,4731,8451,780-65-3.52%1,702
Brisbane1,2621,3511,4361,9561,935-21-1.07%1,705
Cairns1,0731,1951,2051,2611,319584.60%1149
Caboolture9409199461,1681,141-27-2.31%944
Rockhampton9958877851,018999-19-1.87%885
Maroochydore7608479461,1041,060-44-3.99%966
Toowoomba693753763845904596.98%794
Holland Park696697711895835-60-6.70%712
Pine Rivers653675811874855-19-2.17%797
Redcliffe628619668773800273.49%713
Cleveland636607665751796455.99%692
Richlands670571577696751557.90%649
Mackay552623639791783-8-1.01%687
Bundaberg444385504724659-65-8.98%567
Mt. Isa46449553776489212816.75%607
Sandgate405408407534473-61-11.42%402
Gladstone370472505559558-1-0.18%571

Nature of applications (2017-18 year to date):

Table 3. Lodging authorityNumberPercent
Police20,30072.54%
Private 7,53526.93%
Court1480.53%
Total27,983
Table 4. Gender of aggrievedNumberPercent
Female20,76474.20%
Male7,18725.68%
Unknown320.11%
Total27,983
Table 5. RelationshipNumberPercent
Intimate personal20,80274.34%
Family7,10125.38%
Informal care800.29%
Total27,983
Table 6. Method of lodgmentNumberPercent
Electronic19,71070.44%
Counter7,96128.45%
Other3121.11%
Total27,983

Orders made

Data shows the total number of DVOs made.

DVOs are made to protect the aggrieved party and children or other relatives or associates.

Table 7. DVOs made

Table 7. Orders made2013-142014-152015-162016-17% variance 2015-16 to 2016-172017-18 YTD (to 31-5-18)
Protection orders20,14821,72126,90026,706-0.70%22,924
Temporary protection order11,69212,19014,60714,340-1.80%12,792
Vary protection order3,5714,0997,0409,05628.60%6,589
Total orders made35,41138,01048,54750,1023.20%42,305

Table 8. DVOs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2017-18 year to date

OrdersAggrieved numberPercentRespondent numberPercent
Protection orders3,83816.74%4,02617.56%
Temporary protection orders1,78313.94%1,75313.70%
Vary protection orders1,16417.67%119318.11%
Total protection orders6,7856,972

Table 9. DVOs, by gender of the aggrieved and respondent

AggrievedRespondentNumber% orders made
FemaleMale16,07770.29%
FemaleFemale1,5136.62%
MaleMale1,6647.28%
MaleFemale3,61815.82%

So far in 2017-18

30%

of all DVOs have been temporary protection orders made to protect the aggrieved until the application is finalised

77%

of DVOs protect a female aggrieved.

17%

of DVOs protect an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

DVOs made by category,
2017-18 year to date

Offences

Offences

Criminal offending in relation to domestic and family violence can be grouped into the following categories:

Contravene DVO: where the respondent breaches a condition of a DVO. A conviction in relation to this offence is recorded on a defendant’s criminal history.

Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) related offences (flagged offences): Effective 1 December 2015, criminal offending that occurs in the context of DFV can be recorded by way of a notation under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992. This helps to ensure that the patterns of behaviour of those who commit acts of DFV are clearly evident to police officers and courts.

Non-fatal strangulation: Effective 5 May 2016, choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic setting is a stand-alone offence under the Criminal Code 1899, with a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment.

Several data tables that follow relate to all court levels including Childrens, Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts. Due to the seriousness of some of the charges, not all charges are heard in the Magistrates Court, but are instead committed to the District or Supreme Courts.

This section shows the number of charges in relation to:

  • breaches of DVOs
  • offences ‘flagged’ as being in a DFV context (other than offences under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012)
  • offences relating to section 315A of the Criminal Code 1899 (offences of choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic setting).

Contravene offences

Table 10 is a count of all offences relating to contraventions of DVOs lodged with the Magistrates Court. This includes: contraventions of DVOs, contraventions of police protection notices and contraventions of release conditions.

Table 10. Contravene DVO charges lodged (Magistrates Courts with the most lodgments)

Location2012-132013-142014-1522015-162016-17No. variance 2015-16 to 2016-17% variance 2015-16 to 2016-172017-18 YTD (to 31-5-18)
Townsville1,0339181,3303,0913,072-19-0.61%2,141
Southport6927739441,5131,83932621.55%1,456
Brisbane6217188091,0351,25822321.55%1,263
Beenleigh6138579801,3611,36650.37%1210
Ipswich4325816179841,17018618.90%1027
Cairns6997166988911,11021924.58%889
Rockhampton60761557870583012517.73%781
Maroochydore21224431736247411230.94%649
Toowoomba3183864744995767715.43%605
Caboolture280371511657681243.65%592
Gladstone1571702013233795617.34%552
Redcliffe28527136352052000.00%498
Mackay1662482594655266113.12%475
Mt. Isa344281334535491-44-8.22%397
Bundaberg200190232392372-20-5.10%378
Richlands19322026235436392.54%344
Pine Rivers150175248350370205.71%325
Dalby4075871111615045.05%325
Gympie9712914120739218589.37%296
Hervey Bay1251061291762739755.11%289
---------
State10,21511,18713,32119,03520,6501,6158.48%18,363

Table 11 is a count of defendants convicted of contravention of a DVO. One defendant can be convicted of more than one offence. Table 11 shows the most serious penalty imposed on a defendant at the time they are sentenced for their charge/s.

Table 11. Defendants convicted of contravention DVO offences, listed by penalty imposed

Penalty2014-152015-162016-172017-18 YTD (to 31-5-18)
Imprisonment3,0244,1834,5344,399
Custody in the Community51566361
Monetary Order3,2173,7614,0483,814
Community Service Order229329401323
Good Behaviour / Recognisance609694933802
Probation1,7262,3832,9432,503
Other405489596662
TOTAL9,26111,89513,51812,564

Note:

  1. A defendant can be given one penalty in relation to multiple offences; or multiple penalties for one offence. The data shows only the most serious penalty for each defendant when convicted of the offence(s). This method of counting is used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for Criminal Courts, Australian publication (4513.0).
  2. The order ‘Custody in the community’ may refer to ‘Intensive Correction Order’; ‘Conditional Release Order’ or ‘Intensive Supervision Order’.
  3. The ‘Other’ category includes nominal penalties, such as ‘convicted and not further punished’. In some instances, a court may sentence a defendant to a term of imprisonment on one offence and convict and not further punish them on a lesser offence.

Flagged offences lodged

Table 12. Flagged offences DFV offences, charges lodged

Court2015-162016-172017-18 YTD (to 31-5-18)
Magistrates Court4,3388,8126,625
District Court2,0253,2054,356
Supreme Court42118105
State total6,40512,13511,086

Note:

  1. All offences are initially lodged in the Magistrates Court. However depending on the seriousness of the offence, some charges can only be dealt with on indictment in the Supreme or District Courts. Therefore the charges counted in the District and Supreme Courts are also counted in the Magistrates Court.
  2. Flagged DFV offences were introduced on 1 December 2015 making 2016-17 the first full year of data.

Table 13. Flagged DFV offences, charges lodged (Magistrates Courts with the most lodgments)

Location2015-162016-172017-18 YTD (to 31-5-18)
Southport7781,363798
Townsville3691,378660
Cairns280492503
Brisbane184390376
Ipswich221461372
Beenleigh164460354
Mt. Isa169316345
Rockhampton186313252
Toowoomba121260205
Caboolture124181196
Redcliffe107181177
Maroochydore61145155
Pine Rivers44120142
Mareeba84145133
Mackay99197133
Richlands99165108
Bundaberg74125105
Gladstone9310383
Dalby649778
Cleveland537777
----
State4,3038,7596,625

Strangulation offences

Table 14. Strangulation offences, by court level

Court2015-162016-172017-18 YTD (to 31-5-18)
Magistrates Court58878790
District Court<5209808
Supreme Court0<57

Note:

  1. Strangulation related offences (s 315A of the Criminal Code Act 1899) was introduced 1 May 2016 making 2016-17 the first full year of data.
  2. All offences are initially lodged in the Magistrates Court. However these charges can only be finalised upon indictment in the Supreme or District Courts. The counts of charges lodged in the District and Supreme Courts are also counted in the Magistrates Court charges.
  3. Where charge numbers are less than 5, actual numbers have been replaced with ‘<5’ to avoid possible identification of defendants.

Table 15. Strangulation offences lodged (Magistrates Courts with the most lodgments)

Location2015-162016-172017-18 YTD (to 31-5-18)
Brisbane128783
Southport710474
Ipswich54760
Maroochydore<52356
Cairns<54955
Beenleigh<55955
Townsville<56249
Toowoomba<53842
Mount Isa<52233
Richlands<53629

Table 16. Defendants convicted of strangulation offences, by penalty imposed

PenaltyDefendants convicted
Imprisonment365
Custody in the community<5
Probation12
Other<5

Note:

  1. A defendant can be given one penalty in relation to multiple offences; or multiple penalties for one offence. The data shows only the most serious penalty for each defendant when convicted of the offence(s). This method of counting is used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for Criminal Courts, Australian publication (4513.0).
  2. The order ‘Custody in the community’ may refer to ‘Intensive Correction Order’; ‘Conditional Release Order’ or ‘Intensive Supervision Order’.
  3. Where defendants number less than 5, actual numbers have been replaced with ‘<5’ to avoid possible identification.