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>>> This is an archived copy of the article on Australian Domestic Violence Statistics from 2022. Please click here for the latest article on Australian Domestic Violence Statistics.


At Damien Greer Lawyers, we have over 40 years’ expertise in advising on all aspects of family law. Sadly, this means we have experience in dealing with matters relating to domestic violence, including instances of physical violencesexual abuse and verbal abuse.

Over the course of the past four decades, we’ve seen huge changes in the way that domestic violence is defined, reported, and experienced.

To show this change, we’ve compiled the latest domestic violence statistics from both Queensland and Australian sources.


1.0 DVO Data Queensland

One unfortunate truth regarding domestic violence is that data can be incomplete. This could be due to events not being reported or being handled between the parties privately.

To ensure our reporting of domestic violence figures is as accurate as possible, we will only rely on data from reputable government sources and the Courts. While this is the most accurate way to gauge Queensland and Australia’s statistics on domestic violence, we acknowledge these data won’t include situations kept outside of the legal system.


1.1 DVO Applications Per Year

2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Total DVO Applications 40,689 40,606 37,825 40,813 41,591
Estimated Resident Population in Qld 4,928,374 5,010,502 5,094,718 5,175,003 5,217,653
DVO Applications per 1000 Residents 8.26 8.10 7.42 7.89 7.97

According to data from the Queensland Courts, rates of DVO applications have increased slightly over recent financial years. However, when compared with population data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it shows that rates of DVO applications (per Queensland resident) have remained consistent over the past 5 years.

2019-20 represented the lowest rates of DVO applications, with just 7.42 applications per 1,000 Queensland residents. But this rate has remained close to 8 applications per 1,000 residents over recent history.

1.2 Most Common Magistrates Courts in Queensland for DVO Applications

Rank Location DVO Applications in 2021-22 % Change on 2020-21
1st Beenleigh 2,847 +5.1%
2nd Southport 2,357 -8.5%
3rd Brisbane 1,908 +0.6%
4th Ipswich 1,654 +7.8%
5th Townsville 1,350 -9.8%
6th Cairns 1,321 +5.8%
7th Caboolture 1,140 +15.9%
8th Rockhampton 886 -5.0%
9th Maroochydore 879 -5.5%
10th Pine Rivers 851 -8.3%


Beenleigh holds the unfortunate title as Queensland’s Magistrates Court with the most DVO applications across 2021-22. Data from Queensland Courts show Beenleigh’s rate of DVO applications increased by 5.1% on the figure from 2020-21, suggesting their already high rate is increasing further.

Although still sitting as the second-most common Magistrates Court for DVO applications, Southport has shown some improvement. Their rate of DVO applications dropped by 8.5% from the results of 2020-21, which themselves were lower than the rates in 2019-20.

1.3 Nature of Relationship Within DVO Application


Intimate Personal 71.1%

Family 28.5%

Informal Care 0.3%

Type of Relationship - % of Applications (1 July to 30 Sep 2022)

Over 70% of DVO applications occurred with the aggrieved (person making the order) and respondent (the person receiving the order) sharing an intimate personal relationship. This would generally indicate they were in a relationship with each other, whether that was casual, dating, de facto, or married.

Another 28.5% of cases involved parties who were family with each other. This doesn’t include married parties, who would still be recognised as being in an intimate personal relationship. However, this could be a parent and child, an aunty/uncle with their niece/nephew, grandparents and their grandchildren, siblings, etc.

1.4 Domestic Violence Orders Made in 2021-22

Order Type Total Orders Given
Protection 24,332
Temporary Protection 14,801
Vary Protection 12,978
Total 52,111


Data from Queensland Courts show the year spanning 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 saw over 52 thousand DVOs be made across Queensland. That’s roughly the capacity of Suncorp Stadium.

This was also the highest figure of any of the previous 5 years.

1.5 DVOs by Gender of Both Aggrieved and Respondent

Aggrieved Respondent % of Orders (1 July to 30 Sep 2022)
Female Male 67.7%
Male Female 15.8%
Female Female 8.4%
Male Male 8.2%

Over 2 in 3 cases of a DVO being made concerned a female aggrieved party, and a male respondent. Another 8.2% of DVOs were made against male respondents, but by a male aggrieved party.

Females were respondents across roughly 24% of all DVOs made in the first quarter of the 2022-23 period.

2.0 DVO Breach Data in Queensland

It should be noted that, when discussing rises in either orders made or orders breached, no situation can be objectively defined as “good” or “bad”. Rises in breaches recorded may correlated to increased police work, or better protection for the aggrieved. Equally, higher rates of orders made might reflect more efficient courts. Of course, an argument could also be made that higher recorded figures reflects an increase in overall domestic violence.

2.1 Total Breaches of DVOs in Queensland Per Year


Contravene DVO Charges Lodged

2017-18 19,996

2018-19 21,095

2019-20 24,142

2020-21 30,538

2021-22 32,213

Contravene DVO charges are those where the respondent has breached a condition of their DVO. These are recorded in the defendant’s criminal history.

Data from Queensland Courts show that offenses relating to contraventions of DVOs have increased in frequency every year since 2017-18.

2.2 Most Common Magistrate Courts in Queensland for DVO Breach Charges

Rank Location Contravene DVO Charges in 2021-22 % Change on 2020-21
1st Beenleigh 2,899 -0.4%
2nd Brisbane 2,733 +23.6%
3rd Townsville 2,714 -32.7%
4th Cairns 2,248 +55.5%
5th Southport 1,887 -4.8%
6th Rockhampton 1,602 +19.8%
7th Ipswich 1,600 +18.1%
8th Maroochydore 1,523 +4.0%
9th Caboolture 975 +10.8%
10th Gladstone 911 +55.2%

Again, Beenleigh was named by the Queensland Courts being the Magistrate Court with the highest rates – this time in charges relating to DVO breaches.

The most interesting results came from Cairns and Gladstone – both showing increases of over 50% from their figures in 2020-21. The cause of these results isn’t clear, but such a rise is wildly outside the state’s averages.

2.3 Penalties Imposed for Breaching DVOs in Queensland

Penalty Imposed Total Figures (2021-22) % of Penalties Imposed
Imprisonment/Detention 6,409 33.8%
Monetary Order 5,968 31.5%
Probation 3,768 19.9%
Good behaviour/Recognisance 1,166 6.1%
Community Service Order 289 1.5%
Custody in the Community 59 0.3%
Other 1,316 6.9%

It should be noted in these results that defendants can be given multiple penalties for one offence. In those cases, Queensland Courts only list the most serious penalty in the results above.

In over a third of penalties imposed during 2021-22 for breaching a DVO in Queensland, the defendant was sentenced to imprisonment/detention. Over 30% more were sentenced to a monetary order. But as mentioned, these 65% of cases may have also included probation, community service, or good behaviour/recognisance.

3.0 Domestic Violence Statistics Across Australia

The most recent nation-wide statistics on domestic violence come from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, who reported:

  • 1 in 6 women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or previous cohabiting partner
  • 1 in 16 men have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or previous cohabiting partner
  • woman is killed every 9 daysby a partner
  • 1 man is killed every 29 days by a partner
  • 25% of women have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous cohabiting partner
  • 5% of men have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous cohabiting partner
  • 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner since the age of 15
  • 1 in 6 men have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner since the age of 15
  • 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15
  • 1 in 20 men have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15
  • Australian women are 3x more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.

All statistics correct as of 27/11/2022.