The unprecedented global pandemic has sparked a rise in the frequency and severity of domestic, family and gender-based violence.
If you are experiencing violence, please share your story with us. We are informing better response systems from decision-makers and support services.
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has turned everyone’s world upside down. People are more isolated than ever, and lockdown has been uniquely challenging – it’s important to acknowledge any anxiety, fear, grief or sadness you may be feeling. After all, we still don’t know when life will go back to normal, or what the new normal will be like to live in.
Unfortunately, research all over the world has found that, as with previous pandemics and disasters, gender-based violence has increased at this time. That’s why we’ve created this resource: for anyone experiencing such violence behind closed doors. We are here to let you know: social isolation is no excuse for it. You are not alone, and there is help available.
additional cases of domestic violence are predicted to occur for every 3 months of lockdown across the world
of Australian victims said the violence had started or escalated in the first three months of lockdown
of Australian victims said that during lockdown was the first time their partner had been violent towards them
of Australian victims who had experienced violence from their partner prior to February 2020 said the violence had now increased in frequency or severity
Many people experiencing violence are not able to report during this time.
You might not report because:
You are unable to seek help while being trapped at home with an abuser
You’re unsure if you can leave the house during this time to report to police
You’re not in a heterosexual relationship, so don’t feel like there are support services for you
You are cut off from your support network who might help you file a report
What you need to know about seeking help for gender-based violence during COVID-19:
Gender-based violence is any violence that references or is informed by normative gender roles. Current statistics show that trans women, non-binary people, Indigenous women, cis women, women with disabilities and the LGBTQIA+ community are most likely to experience gender-based violence. Violence can be physical (e.g., hitting and sexual assault), but it can also be psychological or emotional, like when someone restricts how you spend your money or when someone yells at you from their car.
According to the Australian government, you have the right to leave the house if you are not safe and will not be fined if you do so. In Victoria, there is a new initiative to move abusive partners out of the home. The Victorian Government has provided 1,500 new spaces in short-term accommodation for people who have been violent or abusive at home – or believe there is a risk that this could occur.
Our chatbot links you to real resources, but not to a real person. You can access our chatbot anonymously to find local services in your area.
Perpetrator accountability continues during lockdown. Police continue to respond to incidents of violence at this time, so if you are in an emergency, please call 000.