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 type2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)No. variance 2017-18 to 2018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-19
Initiating26,80032,25232,07230,38130,30717,159-74-0.24%
Vary protection orders6,3729,22010,12910,24310,2955,477520.51%

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

Location2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)No. variance 2017-18 to 2018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-19
Southport2,6913,5153,3462,9452,9671,582220.75%
Beenleigh2,1702,5942,5092,3842,5681,4341847.72%
Brisbane1,4361,9561,9351,8621,9511,142894.78%
Ipswich1,6551,7831,9751,7311,674993-57-3.29%
Townsville1,4731,8451,7801,8331,684912-149-8.13%
Cairns1,2051,2611,3191,2431,220664-23-1.85%
Caboolture9461,1681,1411,0371,079606424.05%
Maroochydore9461,1041,0601,0411,014578-27-2.59%
Pine Rivers8118748558641,01054014616.90%
Rockhampton7851,01899995396048970.73%
Mackay639791783753720474-33-4.38%
Redcliffe66877380075876146030.40%
Toowoomba763845904868773452-95-10.94%
Holland Park711895835777776407-1-0.13%
Cleveland665751796735685373-50-6.80%
Richlands577696751698724361263.72%
Gladstone505559558627622347-5-0.80%
Hervey Bay453511555501515304142.79%
Mount Isa537764892654590288-64-9.79%
Bundaberg504724659639589273-50-7.82%

Nature of applications:

Table 3. Lodging authority, 2019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)NumberPercent
Police12,17670.96%
Private 4,91628.65%
Court670.39%
Total17,159
Table 4. Gender of aggrieved, 2019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)NumberPercent
Female12,59473.40%
Male4,52726.38%
Unknown380.22%
Total17,159
Table 5. Relationship, 2019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)NumberPercent
Intimate Personal12,47472.70%
Family4,62226.94%
Informal Care590.34%
Unknown40
Total17,159
Table 6. Method of lodgment, 2019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)NumberPercent
Electronic12,05970.28%
Counter4,91828.66%
Other1821.06%
Total17,159

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

Orders made2015-162016-172017-182018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-192019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)
Protection orders26,90026,70624,89324,9670%13,491
Temporary protection order14,60714,34013,88614,4154%8,184
Vary protection order7,0409,0569,9289,742-2%5,253
Total orders made48,54750,10248,70749,1241%26,928

Table 8. DVOs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Orders, 2019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)Aggrieved NumberPercentRespondent NumberPercent
Protection orders made2,22616.50%2,38517.68%
Temporary protection order115814.15%1,14814.03%
Vary protection order68513.04%69013.14%
Total protection order4,0694,223

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

AggrievedRespondentNumber, 2019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)% orders made
FemaleMale9,39470%
FemaleFemale9727%
MaleMale9907%
MaleFemale2,09716%

So far in 2019-20

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.

16%

of DVOs protect an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

DVOs made by category,
2019-20 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)

Location2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)No. variance 2017-18 to 2018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-19
Townsville1,3313,1003,0742,3042,1531,164-151-7%
Brisbane8101,0391,2761,3561,4569991007%
Southport9481,5131,8431,5841576901-8-1%
Rockhampton579711833907918893111%
Beenleigh9821,3661,3691,3121,4328671209%
Ipswich6179971,1771,1141,44182932729%
Cairns7038961,1149571,029702728%
Caboolture51365968567468352691%
Maroochydore317363474704665409-39-6%
Redcliffe364523522540483331-57-11%
Toowoomba474501578668621323-47-7%
Mount Isa3395404954384853214711%
Gladstone202323379588445306-143-24%
Mackay259465526497496303-10%
Murgon557411612323327611089%
Bundaberg23239437340951926811027%
Pine Rivers24835037035647325511733%
Cleveland275447366329776229447136%
Mareeba169206250308229225-79-26%
Richlands262354363371323214-48-13%
---------
STATE13,36319,11020,74019,99421,08713,3271,0935%

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

Penalty2016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)
Imprisonment/Detention4,5344,8254,8432,784
Custody in the Community63715135
Community Service Order401353279185
Probation2,9422,7352,8351,490
Monetary Order4,0484,1323,9832,307
Good behaviour/Recognisance933890901442
Other596729778448
Grand Total13,51713,73513,6707,691

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

Court2016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)
Magistrates Court8,8116,8796,1713,758
District Court3,0364,0174,3512,396
Supreme Court11611010185
State total11,96311,00610,6236,239

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)

Location2016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)
Cairns493507482368
Townsville1,387707593365
Brisbane391383350347
Southport1,369826616255
Beenleigh460364337199
Rockhampton315260257187
Mount Isa318362388187
Ipswich461400285151
Toowoomba260219198115
Mackay19813311784
Mareeba14513512383
Redcliffe18118312482
Maroochydore14514215078
Caboolture18121115173
Bundaberg12811113072
Mornington Island80536566
Richlands16511712460
Pine Rivers1201409457
Palm Island50316951
Doomadgee826411350
-----
State8,8116,8796,1713,758

Strangulation offences

Table 14. Strangulation offences, by court level

Court2016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)
Magistrates Court878834675338
District Court209875716314
Supreme Court<5109<5

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)

Location2016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 31 January 2020)
Brisbane87877149
Southport104817537
Cairns49614534
Toowoomba38432419
Maroochydore23584518
Beenleigh59614115
Mackay33202315
Richlands36292614
Rockhampton43161313
Townsville62524713

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

PenaltyDefendants convicted
Imprisonment862
Custody in the Community5
Probation23
Community Service Order<5
Other7

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.