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 type2013-142014-152015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 30 September 2018)No. variance 2016-17 to 2017-18% variance 2016-17 to 2017-18
Initiating25,34026,80032,25232,07230,3817,158-1,691-5.27%
Vary protection orders5,6446,3729,22010,12910,24325861141.13%

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

Location2013-142014-152015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 30 September 2018)No. variance 2016-17 to 2017-18% variance 2016-17 to 2017-18
Southport2,3912,6913,5153,3462,945711-401-11.98%
Beenleigh2,0342,1702,5942,5092,384590-125-4.98%
Ipswich1,4521,6551,7831,9751,731358-244-12.35%
Townsville1,3971,4731,8451,7801,833439532.98%
Brisbane1,3511,4361,9561,9351,862465-73-3.77%
Cairns1,1951,2051,2611,3191,243270-76-5.76%
Caboolture9199461,1681,1411,037229-104-9.11%
Rockhampton8877851,018999953247-46-4.60%
Maroochydore8479461,1041,0601,041243-19-1.79%
Toowoomba753763845904868197-36-3.98%
Holland Park697711895835777164-58-6.95%
Pine Rivers67581187485586424091.05%
Redcliffe619668773800758175-42-5.25%
Cleveland607665751796735152-61-7.66%
Richlands571577696751698207-53-7.06%
Mackay623639791783753170-30-3.83%
Bundaberg385504724659639118-20-3.03%
Mt. Isa495537764892654156-238-26.68%
Sandgate40840753447343588-38-8.03%
Gladstone4725055595586271346912.37%

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

Table 3. Lodging authorityNumberPercent
Police5,10271.28%
Private 2,02728.32%
Court290.41%
Total7,158
Table 4. Gender of aggrievedNumberPercent
Female5,26173.50%
Male1,88326.31%
Unknown140.20%
Total7,158
Table 5. RelationshipNumberPercent
Intimate Personal5,26473.54%
Family1,87226.15%
Informal Care220.31%
Total7,158
Table 6. Method of lodgmentNumberPercent
Electronic5,05370.59%
Counter2,03128.37%
Other741.03%
Total7,158

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 made2014-152015-162016-172017-18% variance 2016-17 to 2017-182018-19 YTD (to 30 September 2018)
Protection orders21,72126,90026,70624,893-7%5,831
Temporary protection order12,19014,60714,34013,886-3%3,305
Vary protection order4,0997,0409,0567,215-20%1,765
Total orders made38,01048,54750,10245,994-8%10,901

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

OrdersAggrieved numberPercentRespondent numberPercent
Protection orders93016%100517%
Temporary protection orders46614%47314%
Vary protection orders30117%31618%
Total protection orders1,6971,794

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

AggrievedRespondentNumber% orders made
FemaleMale4,08470%
FemaleFemale3776%
MaleMale4187%
MaleFemale93516%

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.

16%

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)

Location2013-142014-1522015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 30 September 2018)No. variance 2016-17 to 2017-18% variance 2016-17 to 2017-18
Townsville9181,3303,0913,0722,304540-768-25%
Southport7739441,5131,8391,584399-255-14%
Brisbane7188091,0351,2581,356377988%
Ipswich8579801,3611,3661,114617-252-18%
Beenleigh5816179841,1701,31234514212%
Cairns7166988911,110957232-153-14%
Rockhampton615578705830907217779%
Maroochydore24431736247470421123049%
Caboolture371511657681674154-7-1%
Toowoomba3864744995766681569216%
Gladstone17020132337958810620955%
Redcliffe271363520520540132204%
Mackay248259465526497126-29-6%
Mt. Isa281334535491438157-53-11%
Cleveland190232392372329202-43-12%
Bundaberg2202623543634091114613%
Pine Rivers175248350370356105-14-4%
Richlands758711116137167210130%
Dalby27227544736634176-25-7%
Hervey Bay12914120739230865-84-21%
---------
STATE11,18713,32119,03520,65019,9945,431-656-3%

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

Penalty2015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 30 September 2018)
Imprisonment/Detention4,1834,5344,8251182
Custody in the Community5663715
Community Service Order32940135369
Probation2,3832,9422,735694
Monetary Order3,7614,0484,1321016
Good behaviour/Recognisance694933890214
Other489596729197
Grand Total11,89513,51713,7353,377

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

Court2015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 30 September 2018)
Magistrates Court4,3388,8127,1111,594
District Court2,0253,2054,7531148
Supreme Court4211812026
State total6,40512,13511,9842,768

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)

Location2015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 30 September 2018)
Southport7781,363851169
Townsville3691,378712144
Cairns280492534115
Brisbane22139040890
Mt. Isa184316365125
Ipswich16446141769
Beenleigh16946038288
Rockhampton18631326457
Toowoomba12126022460
Caboolture12418121934
Maroochydore6114516869
Redcliffe10718118528
Mackay9919713945
Mareeba4414513836
Pine Rivers8412014920
Richlands9916511831
Bundaberg7412511628
Gladstone931039214
Dalby53978111
Cleveland64777810
-----
State4,3038,8127,1111,594

Strangulation offences

Table 14. Strangulation offences, by court level

Court2015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 30 September 2018)
Magistrates Court58878834151
District Court209875182
Supreme Court<510<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)

Location2015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 30 September 2018)
Brisbane12878713
Southport71048115
Beenleigh5596111
Townsville<5625217
Maroochydore<5235811
Cairns<549615
Ipswich<54762<5
Toowoomba<538435
Richlands<536299
Mt. Isa<52233<5

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

PenaltyDefendants convicted
Imprisonment480
Custody in the Community<5
Probation14
Community Service Order<5
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.