The Council has released a new report examining stalking offences sentenced in Victoria between 2011 and 2020. It is the second of three reports the Council is producing to assist the Victorian Law Reform Commission respond to its stalking terms of reference.
During the 10-year period, police recorded 25,000 stalking offences, and courts sentenced offenders for almost 7,000 stalking offences. Half of the offences recorded by police were associated with family violence (52%), as were more than two-thirds of stalking offences sentenced by courts (68%).
The report also finds that:
- stalking is highly gendered – most offenders were male (87%) and most victims were female (80%)
- the vast majority of stalking cases were sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court (95%)
- the most common sentencing outcome in the Magistrates’ Court was imprisonment (32% of cases), followed by a community correction order (31%)
- imprisonment was more common in family violence cases than in non-family violence cases
- gender was a stronger predictor of imprisonment than was family violence – men were more than twice as likely as women to receive imprisonment
- it was much more common for stalking to be sentenced with other offences (80% of cases) than on its own (20%)
- the most common offence sentenced alongside stalking was a breach of a family violence intervention order or safety notice (39% of stalking cases)
- more than half of people sentenced for stalking reoffend within four years (56%), one-third for breaching a family violence intervention order or safety notice (32%).
The report, Sentencing Stalking in Victoria, can be downloaded from our website.