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 April 2020)No. variance 2017-18 to 2018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-19
Initiating26,80032,25232,07230,38130,30724,136-74-0.24%
Vary protection orders6,3729,22010,12910,24310,2957,849520.51%

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

Location2014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 30 April 2020)No. variance 2017-18 to 2018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-19
Southport2,6913,5153,3462,9452,9672,211220.75%
Beenleigh2,1702,5942,5092,3842,5682,0191847.72%
Brisbane1,4361,9561,9351,8621,9511,558894.78%
Ipswich1,6551,7831,9751,7311,6741,391-57-3.29%
Townsville1,4731,8451,7801,8331,6841,287-149-8.13%
Cairns1,2051,2611,3191,2431,220933-23-1.85%
Maroochydore9461,1041,0601,0411,014866-27-2.59%
Caboolture9461,1681,1411,0371,079842424.05%
Pine Rivers8118748558641,01077314616.90%
Mackay639791783753720684-33-4.38%
Rockhampton7851,01899995396068270.73%
Redcliffe66877380075876167630.40%
Toowoomba763845904868773630-95-10.94%
Holland Park711895835777776585-1-0.13%
Cleveland665751796735685549-50-6.80%
Richlands577696751698724521263.72%
Gladstone505559558627622472-5-0.80%
Hervey Bay453511555501515431142.79%
Mount Isa537764892654590412-64-9.79%
Caloundra3604764413744144074010.70%

Nature of applications:

Table 3. Lodging authority, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 April 2020)NumberPercent
Police17,04970.64%
Private 7,00229.01%
Court850.35%
Total24,136
Table 4. Gender of aggrieved, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 April 2020)NumberPercent
Female17,73073.46%
Male6,36326.36%
Unknown430.18%
Total24,136
Table 5. Relationship, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 April 2020)NumberPercent
Intimate Personal17,67973.25%
Family6,36926.39%
Informal Care820.34%
Unknown60
Total24,136
Table 6. Method of lodgment, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 April 2020)NumberPercent
Electronic16,93170.15%
Counter6,96628.86%
Other2390.99%
Total24,136

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 April 2020)
Protection orders26,90026,70624,89324,9670%18,390
Temporary protection order14,60714,34013,88614,4154%12,046
Vary protection order7,0409,0569,9289,742-2%7,384
Total orders made48,54750,10248,70749,1241%37,820

Table 8. DVOs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Orders, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 April 2020)Aggrieved NumberPercentRespondent NumberPercent
Protection orders made2,96916.14%3,20817.44%
Temporary protection order1,70514.15%1,69714.09%
Vary protection order93212.62%96613.08%
Total protection order5,6065,871

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

AggrievedRespondentNumber, 2019-20 YTD (to 30 April 2020)% orders made
FemaleMale12,78970%
FemaleFemale1,3177%
MaleMale1,3717%
MaleFemale2,86416%

So far in 2019-20

32%

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 30 April 2020)No. variance 2017-18 to 2018-19% variance 2017-18 to 2018-19
Townsville1,3313,1003,0742,3042,1531,769-151-7%
Brisbane8101,0391,2761,3561,4561,4361007%
Beenleigh9821,3661,3691,3121,4321,3731209%
Southport9481,5131,8431,5841,5761,369-8-1%
Rockhampton5797118339079181,161111%
Ipswich6179971,1771,1141,4411,14632729%
Cairns7038961,1149571,0291,006728%
Caboolture51365968567468375991%
Maroochydore317363474704665573-39-6%
Mackay259465526497496524-10%
Redcliffe364523522540483476-57-11%
Toowoomba474501578668621467-47-7%
Gladstone202323379588445446-143-24%
Murgon557411612323342811089%
Mount Isa3395404954384854264711%
Pine Rivers24835037035647342011733%
Bundaberg23239437340951940811027%
Richlands262354363371323358-48-13%
Cleveland275447366329776327447136%
Mareeba169206250308229276-79-26%
---------
STATE13,36319,11020,74019,99421,08719,3801,0935%

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 30 April 2020)
Imprisonment/Detention4,5344,8254,8434,072
Custody in the Community63715148
Community Service Order401353279234
Probation2,9422,7352,8352,036
Monetary Order4,0484,1323,9833,030
Good behaviour/Recognisance933890901593
Other596729778624
Grand Total13,51713,73513,67010,637

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 April 2020)
Magistrates Court8,8116,8796,1715,361
District Court3,0364,0174,3513,555
Supreme Court116110101117
State total11,96311,00610,6239,033

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 April 2020)
Cairns493507482537
Townsville1,387707593501
Brisbane391383350422
Southport1,369826616356
Beenleigh460364337324
Mount Isa318362388287
Rockhampton315260257253
Ipswich461400285221
Toowoomba260219198149
Maroochydore145142150144
Mackay198133117132
Pine Rivers12014094116
Redcliffe181183124110
Caboolture181211151106
Mareeba145135123101
Bundaberg12811113094
Mornington Island80536585
Richlands16511712485
Palm Island50316974
Gladstone103857873
-----
State8,8116,8796,1715,361

Strangulation offences

Table 14. Strangulation offences, by court level

Court2016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 30 April 2020)
Magistrates Court878834675472
District Court209875716459
Supreme Court<51096

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 April 2020)
Brisbane87877162
Southport104817549
Cairns49614546
Maroochydore23584528
Beenleigh59614122
Toowoomba38432422
Rockhampton43161321
Richlands36292621
Ipswich47622919
Townsville62524718

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

Penalty2016-172017-182018-192019-20 YTD (to 30 April 2020)
Imprisonment57340319208
Custody in the Community-<5<5<5
Probation<5975
Community Service Order--<5<5
Other-<5<5<5
Grand Total<62353332217

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.