Apprehended violence orders more effective than critics claim

Full report - Breach rate of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders in NSW (pdf, 321Kb)

Release date: Thursday 20 October, 2016


New research by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has shown that the breach rate of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) is much lower than the 50% figure quoted in past media reports.

Past efforts to estimate the breach rate of ADVOs have simply divided the number of ADVO breaches by the number of final ADVOs granted. This ignores the fact that one order may generate several breaches and different types of ADVOs can be breached.

There are three types of ADVOs that can be issued in NSW; Provisional Orders, Interim Court Orders and Final Orders.

Provisional orders are short-term ADVOs that can be granted in urgent situations without the matter having to be brought before the court.

An interim ADVO is a short-term order made by the court which can extend a provisional order or put protection(s) in place for the victim until a final ADVO application can be considered by the court.

A final ADVO can be made by the court after a defended hearing, if a defendant has been served with the ADVO documents but failed to appear in court or in cases where both parties consent to the conditions specified in the order.

BOCSAR tracked all ADVOs granted between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014 (inclusive), taking care not to count multiple breaches of the same order as if they were breaches of different orders.

BOCSAR found that the breach rate was (a) five per cent for provisional orders (b) nine per cent for interim orders and (c) 20 per cent for final orders (which are much longer in duration).

Most breaches involved only one incident per order (88% of provisional order breaches, 73% of interim order breaches and 64% of final order breaches).

Of all ADVOs which were breached, 34% were breached within one month of being granted, 23% within 1-3 months and 18% within 3-6 months. Male, Indigenous and younger offenders breached their final order sooner than other defendants.

Commenting on the findings the director of BOCSAR said that ADVOs were not a miracle cure but in four out of five cases they put a stop to the violence, intimidation and harassment.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 02 8346 1100

Copies of the report: