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 31 March 2019)No. variance 2016-17 to 2017-18% variance 2016-17 to 2017-18
Initiating25,34026,80032,25232,07230,38123,461-1,691-5.27%
Vary protection orders5,6446,3729,22010,12910,2437,7731141.13%

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

Location2013-142014-152015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 31 March 2019)No. variance 2016-17 to 2017-18% variance 2016-17 to 2017-18
Southport2,3912,6913,5153,3462,9452,305-401-11.98%
Beenleigh2,0342,1702,5942,5092,3841,979-125-4.98%
Brisbane1,3511,4361,9561,9351,8621,494-73-3.77%
Townsville1,3971,4731,8451,7801,8331,340532.98%
Ipswich1,4521,6551,7831,9751,7311,264-244-12.35%
Cairns1,1951,2051,2611,3191,243947-76-5.76%
Caboolture9199461,1681,1411,037837-104-9.11%
Pine Rivers67581187485586479091.05%
Maroochydore8479461,1041,0601,041781-19-1.79%
Rockhampton8877851,018999953748-46-4.60%
Toowoomba753763845904868610-36-3.98%
Holland Park697711895835777594-58-6.95%
Richlands571577696751698594-53-7.06%
Redcliffe619668773800758574-42-5.25%
Mackay623639791783753542-30-3.83%
Cleveland607665751796735523-61-7.66%
Gladstone4725055595586274816912.37%
Mt. Isa495537764892654467-238-26.68%
Bundaberg385504724659639445-20-3.03%
Hervey Bay395453511555501401-54-9.73%

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

Table 3. Lodging authorityNumberPercent
Police16,82471.71%
Private 6,51727.78%
Court1200.51%
Total23,461
Table 4. Gender of aggrievedNumberPercent
Female17,35173.96%
Male6,07525.89%
Unknown350.15%
Total23,461
Table 5. RelationshipNumberPercent
Intimate Personal17,25773.56%
Family6,11926.08%
Informal Care850.36%
Total23,461
Method of lodgmentNumberPercent
Electronic16,65570.99%
Counter6,56127.97%
Other2451.04%
Total23,461

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 31 March 2019)
Protection orders21,72126,90026,70624,893-7%18,786
Temporary protection order12,19014,60714,34016,59916%13,223
Vary protection order4,0997,0409,0567,215-20%5,272
Total orders made38,01048,54750,10245,994-8%37,281

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

OrdersAggrieved NumberPercentRespondent NumberPercent
Protection orders made3,11216.57%3,32117.68%
Temporary protection order1,79013.54%1,84513.95%
Vary protection order83315.80%87116.52%
Total protection orders5,7356,037

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

AggrievedRespondentNumber% orders made
FemaleMale 13,133 70%
FemaleFemale 1,248 7%
MaleMale 1,400 7%
MaleFemale 2,957 16%

So far in 2018-19

36%

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)

Location2013-142014-1522015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 31 March 2019)No. variance 2016-17 to 2017-18% variance 2016-17 to 2017-18
Townsville9181,3303,0913,0722,3041,639-768-25%
Southport7739441,5131,8391,5841,234-255-14%
Brisbane7188091,0351,2581,3561,120988%
Beenleigh8579801,3611,3661,3121,079-54-4%
Ipswich5816179841,1701,1141,229-56-5%
Cairns7166988911,110957776-153-14%
Rockhampton615578705830907701779%
Maroochydore24431736247470455323049%
Caboolture371511657681674500-7-1%
Toowoomba3864744995766684809216%
Gladstone17020132337958835420955%
Redcliffe271363520520540378204%
Cleveland272275447366329568-37-10%
Mackay248259465526497386-29-6%
Mount Isa281334535491438385-53-11%
Bundaberg1902323923724093943710%
Pine Rivers175248350370356360-14-4%
Richlands22026235436337126282%
Hervey Bay1061291762733082003513%
Gympie129141207392317186-75-19%
---------
State total11,18713,32119,03520,65019,99416,436-656-3%

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 31 March 2019)
Imprisonment/Detention4,1834,5344,8253,519
Custody in the Community56637135
Community Service Order329401353212
Probation2,3832,9422,7352,127
Monetary Order3,7614,0484,1322,927
Good behaviour/Recognisance694933890647
Other489596729567
Grand total11,89513,51713,73510,034

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 31 March 2019)
Magistrates Court4,3388,8127,1115,137
District Court2,0253,2054,7533,516
Supreme Court4211812084
State total6,40512,13511,9848,737

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 31 March 2019)
Townsville3691,378712493
Southport7781,363851493
Cairns280492534368
Mount Isa169316365336
Brisbane184390408296
Beenleigh164460382283
Ipswich221461417236
Rockhampton186313264204
Toowoomba121260224170
Maroochydore61145168147
Caboolture124181219133
Richlands99165118124
Bundaberg74125116123
Mackay99197139109
Redcliffe107181185108
Mareeba84145138103
Hervey Bay46976086
Doomadgee33826779
Pine Rivers4412014977
Kingaroy24413670
-----
State total4,3038,8127,1115,137

Strangulation offences

Table 14. Strangulation offences, by court level

Court2015-162016-172017-182018-19 YTD (to 31 March 2019)
Magistrates Court58878834534
District Court209875544
Supreme Court<5109

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 31 March 2019)
Brisbane12878754
Southport71048153
Townsville<5625241
Maroochydore<5235840
Beenleigh<5596133
Cairns<5496131
Richlands<5362925
Mackay<5332021
Ipswich5476219
Bundaberg<5151117

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

PenaltyDefendants convicted
Imprisonment641
Custody in the Community<5
Probation16
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.