There is growing concern that for people experiencing family violence, the lockdowns have left them vulnerable and isolated. With the COVID-19 pandemic, and with people locked in their homes, we are already seeing a rise in family violence.
“It is very likely that rates of widespread domestic violence will increase, as already suggested by initial police and hotline reports. For too many women and children, home can be a place of fear and abuse. That situation worsens considerably in cases of isolation such as the lockdowns imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Dubravka Simonovic, warned.
The number of people looking for domestic violence services has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Perpetrators of family violence are using COVID-19 as a form of physical and emotional abuse. They are telling the victim that they have coronavirus and can therefore not go out of the house.
There is already a heightened level of stress due to people losing their jobs and being confined at home and there is concern that things will get worse. The former Supreme Court Judge, Marcia Neave, who was the Chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence said, “I suspect that people will stay in violent relationships because it be that they won’t know what else to do.”
For information on what constitutes and abuse and to educate yourself on the early signs of abuse and the cycle of abuse visit @MyRedFlags on Facebook.
For anyone needing help call 1800 RESPECT
If you need assistance on these issues, please contact Susan Ilias on 03 8600 6040 or out of hour our emergency family law hotline 0424 694 124