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 30 November 2019)No. variance 2017-18 to 2018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-19
Initiating26,80032,25232,07230,38130,30711,967-74-0.24%
Vary protection orders6,3729,22010,12910,24310,2953,982520.51%

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

Location2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 30 November 2019)No. variance 2017-18 to 2018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-19
Southport 2,691 3,515 3,346 2,945 2,967 1,133 22 0.75%
Beenleigh 2,170 2,594 2,509 2,384 2,568 1,005 184 7.72%
Brisbane 1,436 1,956 1,935 1,862 1,951 818 89 4.78%
Ipswich 1,655 1,783 1,975 1,731 1,674 696 -57 -3.29%
Townsville 1,473 1,845 1,780 1,833 1,684 664 -149 -8.13%
Cairns 1,205 1,261 1,319 1,243 1,220 456 -23 -1.85%
Caboolture 946 1,168 1,141 1,037 1,079 440 42 4.05%
Pine Rivers 811 874 855 864 1,010 375 146 16.90%
Maroochydore 946 1,104 1,060 1,041 1,014 371 -27 -2.59%
Rockhampton 785 1,018 999 953 960 362 7 0.73%
Toowoomba 763 845 904 868 773 327 -95 -10.94%
Mackay 639 791 783 753 720 322 -33 -4.38%
Redcliffe 668 773 800 758 761 300 3 0.40%
Holland Park 711 895 835 777 776 297 -1 -0.13%
Cleveland 665 751 796 735 685 251 -50 -6.80%
Richlands 577 696 751 698 724 247 26 3.72%
Gladstone 505 559 558 627 622 215 -5 -0.80%
Hervey Bay 453 511 555 501 515 212 14 2.79%
Mount Isa 537 764 892 654 590 191 -64 -9.79%
Bundaberg 504 724 659 639 589 187 -50 -7.82%

Nature of applications (2018-19 year to date):

Table 3. Lodging authority, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 November 2019)NumberPercent
Police8,40570.23%
Private 3,50929.32%
Court530.44%
Total11,967
Table 4. Gender of aggrieved, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 November 2019)NumberPercent
Female8,75373.14%
Male3,18326.60%
Unknown310.26%
Total11,967
Table 5. Relationship, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 November 2019)NumberPercent
Intimate Personal8,75973.19%
Family3,16326.43%
Informal Care430.36%
Unknown20
Total11,967
Table 6. Method of lodgment, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 November 2019)NumberPercent
Electronic8,32469.56%
Counter3,50729.31%
Other1361.14%
Total11,967

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 30 November 2019)
Protection orders26,90026,70624,89324,9670%9,579
Temporary protection order14,60714,34013,88614,4154%5,713
Vary protection order7,0409,0569,9289,742-2%3,763
Total orders made48,54750,10248,70749,1241%19,055

Table 8. DVOs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2018-19 year to date

Orders, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 November 2019)Aggrieved NumberPercentRespondent NumberPercent
Protection orders made1,59816.68%1,71117.86%
Temporary protection order79713.95%79413.90%
Vary protection order49013.02%49113.05%
Total protection order2,8852,996

Table 9. DVOs, by gender of the aggrieved and respondent 2018-19 year to date

AggrievedRespondentNumber, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 November 2019)% orders made
FemaleMale6,72970%
FemaleFemale6747%
MaleMale6927%
MaleFemale1,46315%

So far in 2018-19

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,
2018-19 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 30 November 2019)No. variance 2017-18 to 2018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-19
Townsville 1,331 3,100 3,074 2,304 2,153 872 -151 -7%
Brisbane 810 1,039 1,276 1,356 1,456 698 100 7%
Rockhampton 579 711 833 907 918 684 11 1%
Southport 948 1,513 1,843 1,584 1,576 609 -8 -1%
Beenleigh 982 1,366 1,369 1,312 1,432 584 120 9%
Ipswich 617 997 1,177 1,114 1,441 580 327 29%
Cairns 703 896 1,114 957 1,029 501 72 8%
Caboolture 513 659 685 674 683 303 9 1%
Maroochydore 317 363 474 704 665 281 -39 -6%
Murgon 55 74 116 123 233 263 110 89%
Redcliffe 364 523 522 540 483 233 -57 -11%
Mount Isa 339 540 495 438 485 229 47 11%
Gladstone 202 323 379 588 445 229 -143 -24%
Toowoomba 474 501 578 668 621 199 -47 -7%
Bundaberg 232 394 373 409 519 191 110 27%
Mackay 259 465 526 497 496 179 -1 0%
Pine Rivers 248 350 370 356 473 175 117 33%
Mareeba 169 206 250 308 229 170 -79 -26%
Kingaroy 55 93 115 212 183 165 -29 -14%
Richlands 262 354 363 371 323 164 -48 -13%
- - - - - - - - -
STATE 13,363 19,110 20,740 19,994 21,087 9,354 1,093 5%

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

Penalty 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 YTD (to 30 November 2019)
Imprisonment/Detention 4,534 4,825 4,843 2,049
Custody in the Community 63 71 51 31
Community Service Order 401 353 279 138
Probation 2,942 2,735 2,835 1,069
Monetary Order 4,048 4,132 3,983 1,657
Good behaviour/Recognisance 933 890 901 328
Other 596 729 778 304
Grand Total 13,517 13,735 13,670 5,576

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 30 November 2019)
Magistrates Court8,8116,8796,1712,590
District Court3,0364,0174,3511,889
Supreme Court11611010170
State total11,96311,00610,6234,549

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 30 November 2019)
Cairns 493 507 482 293
Townsville 1,387 707 593 277
Brisbane 391 383 350 218
Southport 1,369 826 616 170
Beenleigh 460 364 337 146
Rockhampton 315 260 257 121
Mount Isa 318 362 388 100
Toowoomba 260 219 198 80
Ipswich 461 400 285 80
Redcliffe 181 183 124 64
Mackay 198 133 117 62
Bundaberg 128 111 130 56
Mareeba 145 135 123 54
Caboolture 181 211 151 52
Maroochydore 145 142 150 45
Richlands 165 117 124 44
Palm Island 50 31 69 43
Doomadgee 82 64 113 40
Gladstone 103 85 78 40
Pine Rivers 120 140 94 37
- - - - -
State 8,811 6,879 6,171 2,590

Strangulation offences

Table 14. Strangulation offences, by court level

Court2016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 30 November 2019)
Magistrates Court878834675245
District Court209875716246
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 30 November 2019)
Brisbane87877132
Southport104817529
Cairns49614521
Maroochydore23584517
Toowoomba38432415
Mackay33202313
Beenleigh59614112
Townsville62524712
Redcliffe177159
Rockhampton4316137

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

PenaltyDefendants convicted
Imprisonment847
Custody in the Community<5
Probation21
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.