Imprisonment Rate Triples for Breaches of Family Violence Orders and Notices

Date of Publication
03 May 2022

The Council has released a new report examining how breaches of family violence intervention orders (FVIOs) and family violence safety notices (FVSNs) were sentenced in Victoria between 2011 and 2020. It is the third of three reports that the Council produced to assist the Victorian Law Reform Commission respond to its stalking terms of reference

During the 10-year period, there were 94,000 FVSNs issued by police, 295,000 FVIOs issued by courts, 317,000 breaches of FVSNs and FVIOs recorded by police, and 113,000 breaches of FVSNs and FVIOs sentenced by courts.

The report finds that:

  • 87% of people sentenced for breaching a FVSN or FVIO were male
  • the imprisonment rate for breaches of FVSNs and FVIOs increased from 14% in 2011 to 40% in 2020, largely due to courts imposing a greater number of short prison sentences (less than 6 months), especially time served prison sentences
  • the rate of fines for breaches of FVSNs and FVIOs was fairly stable (about 20% each year)
  • almost all FVIOs were issued in the Magistrates’ Court (96%), while the other 4% were issued in the Children’s Court
  • there was a significant increase in the number of breach offences recorded by police each year, up from 10,600 in 2011 to 53,200 in 2020
  • 9.2% of all criminal cases sentenced in Victoria now involves a breach of a FVSN or FVIO, up from 3.6% in 2011.

The report, Sentencing Breaches of Family Violence Intervention Orders and Safety Notices: Third Monitoring Report, can be downloaded from our website.