Regional and rural areas account for more than 40 per cent of non-family violence intervention orders, despite making up just 24 per cent of the state's population.
New data released by the Sentencing Advisory Council this week revealed there were a disproportionate number of Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIOs) issued in regional Victoria in the 10 years from 2011.
The report was the first of three to assist the Victorian Law Reform Commission in its inquiry on improving responses to stalking.
A PSIO is a court order designed to protect someone from unwanted behaviours by a non-family member.
In the magistrates court, PSIOs were more often issued between people living in close proximity, such as neighbours and co-tenants.
Just three per cent were between strangers.
In the children's court, the orders were mainly issued in a school-related context, which could have involved friends of the respondent or student-teacher relationships.
There were over 100,000 applications for PSIOs in Victorian courts in the 10-year period and 26,000 breaches recorded by police in the 10-year period, the report revealed.
Regional court locations accounted for 43 per cent of all cases involving breaches in the magistrates court and 65 per cent in the children's court.
Warrnambool police family violence unit manager Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo said the majority of PSIOs were issued in relation to neighbour disputes or people known to each other.
He said the orders were managed by the relevant police units as a risk mitigation strategy.
"Sometimes people might engage in contact which on its own might not amount to a crime, but it could still be intimidating, harassing and make people feel uneasy," he said.
"Once a PSIO is issued and served, it can make that conduct a criminal act, worthy of investigation and prosecution if the evidence is there."
Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said it was less common to see PSIOs issued in workplaces or school yards.
"There are usually other risk mitigation strategies in place, such as an employer's obligation to provide a safe workplace under the OH&S Act," he said.
"So there really are other avenues that would be considered before a PSIO is in that space."
Detective Senior Sergeant Asenjo said regional and rural Victoria was often over-represented in justice system statistics.
"The pressures of people living in regional and rural areas are very different to those in metro areas," he said.
The report released this week showed just over half of respondents were male (57 per cent) and two-thirds of protected persons were female (67 per cent).
The most frequently imposed sentences were adjourned undertakings (25 per cent of charges) and fines (24 per cent) averaging just over $500.
Imprisonment and community correction orders were also common (20 per cent each).
PSIO breach offenders had relatively high rates of subsequent offending.
The report revealed 31 per cent of offenders were sentenced again within 12 months, 46 per cent within two years and 53 per cent in three years.
This is double the general reoffending rate for all offenders in Victoria.
Reoffending rates were considerably higher for children than they were for adults.
84 per cent of children were sentenced again at least once, while reoffending rates were higher for males than they were for females.
A quarter of breaches included violent reoffending.
Sentencing Advisory Council chair Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg AM said the disproportionate number of PSIO matters in regional Victoria was concerning.
He said the underlying causes were almost invariably higher rates of socioeconomic disadvantage and lack of services.
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