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 Type2015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)# change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD% change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD
Initiating32,26832,09730,40330,30328,31221,398-582-2.6%
Vary9,22710,14610,28610,3039,4998,6681,48120.6%

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

Location2015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)# change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD% change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD
Southport3,5153,3492,9452,9672,6031,849-175-8.6%
Beenleigh2,5932,5102,3852,5672,3672,0151699.2%
Brisbane1,9581,9381,8651,9491,8261,410-21-1.5%
Ipswich1,7851,9771,7341,6741,6411,180-101-7.9%
Townsville1,8451,7791,8331,6851,5571,150-15-1.3%
Cairns1,2611,3191,2431,2201,121887293.4%
Caboolture1,1701,1411,0371,080998716-68-8.7%
Maroochydore1,1061,0601,0411,0141,014671-90-11.8%
Rockhampton1,0191,0009549608146978213.3%
Pine Rivers8748578641,010918688-4-0.6%
Toowoomba845903869772741545-25-4.4%
Holland Park895836778776704504-22-4.2%
Mackay791784755720823566-38-6.3%
Redcliffe773801758761765500-104-17.2%
Cleveland751797736685647454-42-8.5%
Richlands697752698724624444-29-6.1%
Mount Isa764892654590483314-73-18.9%
Bundaberg72465963958946846811331.8%
Gladstone560558627622536425-6-1.4%
Hervey Bay511555501515470331-59-15.1%

Nature of applications:

Table 3. Lodging authority, 2020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)NumberPercent
Police15,81373.9%
Private5,54425.9%
Court410.2%
Total21,398100.0%
Table 4. Gender of Aggrieved, 2020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)NumberPercent
Female15,68873.3%
Male5,67826.5%
Unknown320.1%
Total21,398100.0%
Table 5. Relationship, 2020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)NumberPercent
Intimate Personal15,66473.2%
Family5,65326.4%
Informal Care770.4%
Unknown40.0%
Total21,398100.0%
Table 6. Method of Lodgement, 2020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)NumberPercent
Electronic15,80973.9%
Counter5,47225.6%
Other1170.5%
Total21,398100.0%

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

Order Type2015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)# change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD% change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD
Protection26,66926,49624,82824,97620,96619,1001,6099.2%
Temporary Protection14,33614,26513,89614,42014,48710,7271161.1%
Vary Protection7,0159,0779,9439,7598,7268,5571,70624.9%
Total48,02049,83848,66749,15544,17938,3843,4319.8%

Table 8. DVOs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Orders, 2020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)Aggrieved NumberAggrieved PercentRespondent NumberRespondent Percent
Protection3,16216.6%3,37417.7%
Temporary Protection1,46713.7%1,46513.7%
Vary Protection1,30815.3%1,37616.1%
Total5,93715.5%6,21516.2%

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

AggrievedRespondent# orders made 2020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)% orders made 2020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)
FemaleMale13,20169.3%
MaleFemale3,04016.0%
MaleMale1,4337.5%
FemaleFemale1,3747.2%

So far in 2020-21

28%

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,
2020-21 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)

Location2015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)# change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD% change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD
Townsville3,1003,0742,3042,1532,3952,52994759.9%
Southport1,5131,8431,5841,5761,6871,41518615.1%
Beenleigh1,3661,3691,3121,4321,8292,11089473.5%
Brisbane1,0391,2761,3571,4561,7651,48721216.6%
Ipswich9971,1771,1141,4411,3881,013-36-3.4%
Cairns8961,1149561,0371,2651,06815717.2%
Rockhampton7118339079181,408997-44-4.2%
Caboolture659685674683904687385.9%
Maroochydore3634747046657261,170647123.7%
Mackay46552649749669578237491.7%
Toowoomba5015786686215964674711.2%
Redcliffe5235225404835784905713.2%
Mount Isa540495438485526429348.6%
Gladstone323379588445549419276.9%
Cleveland447367329776420297-10-3.3%
Bundaberg3943734095194944256417.7%
Pine Rivers35037035647349447610327.6%
Richlands35436337132344760127584.4%
Hervey Bay1762743102872932725827.1%
Gympie2073943172192191803625.0%
---------
State Total19,11020,74119,99621,09524,14221,8714,46325.6%

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

Penalty2015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)
Imprisonment/Detention4,1734,5424,8354,8524,7634,463
Custody in the Community566371525254
Community Service Order329403352279250237
Probation2,3802,9442,7352,8422,2692,791
Monetary Order3,7634,0494,1323,9863,3314,540
Good behaviour/Recognisance693933890899637761
Other479598730790733754
Total11,87313,53213,74513,70012,03513,600

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

Court2015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)
Magistrates Court4,3198,7656,8896,1646,5655,628
District Court2,0233,0394,0304,3494,3043,015
Supreme Court45117111101131196
Total6,38711,92111,03010,61411,0008,839

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.
  3. Flagged offence data for all years has been recalculated due to revision of included offences under the legislation.

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

Location2015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)# change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD% change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD
Southport7811,36782761244645913139.9%
Townsville3711,384702591630497398.5%
Cairns2884895084816745557415.4%
Brisbane184384393349497368-39-9.6%
Beenleigh1654593633383853697826.8%
Ipswich21345840228628234715277.9%
Mount Isa1733183623883653002910.7%
Rockhampton1933132602562892824820.5%
Toowoomba12125521819717914575.1%
Caboolture12218021015016194-10-9.6%
Mackay991961331181711736763.2%
Redcliffe9718118212616881-11-12.0%
Maroochydore611451421511771584641.1%
Bundaberg7812711213011318699113.8%
Richlands99168117124998445.0%
Mareeba8414413512311454-35-39.3%
Pine Rivers441191419414599-9-8.3%
Gladstone92102867878962841.2%
Doomadgee35816411381801625.0%
Dalby65100805747622151.2%
---------
State Total4,3198,7656,8896,1646,5655,62877516.0%

Strangulation offences

Table 14. Strangulation offences, by court level

Court2015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)
Magistrates Court56876834676592576
District Court-206874716586444
Supreme Court-<5109714
Total56<1,0901,7181,4011,1851,034

Note:

  1. Strangulation related offences (s 315A of the Criminal Code Act 1899) was introduced 5 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)

Location2015-162016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)# change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD% change 2019-20 YTD to 2020-21 YTD
Brisbane1287877174802033.3%
Southport61048175545248.3%
Cairns<5486145614100.0%
Beenleigh<5596241314727135.0%
Townsville<5625247294530200.0%
Ipswich5476229235336211.8%
Maroochydore-2358453421-4-16.0%
Toowoomba<53843242314-8-36.4%
Richlands<53629262215-2-11.8%
Mount Isa<5223316163422183.3%
Rockhampton<54316132822422.2%
---------
State Total5687683467659257615135.5%

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

Penalty2016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21 YTD (to 31 Mar 2021)
Imprisonment/Detention57340319249202
Custody in the Community-<5<5<5<5
Probation<59755
Community Service Order--<5<5<5
Other-<5<5<5<5
Total<65353332258212

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.