EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Gender-based violence and help-seeking behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic
Times of crisis and natural disasters are associated with increased violence against women and children and often with reduced access to support services. COVID-19 is no exception, with pandemic control measures restricting people’s movements and confining many women and children to homes with their abusers. In April 2020 the UN Secretary-General labelled violence against women the "shadow pandemic". In Australia, like elsewhere in the world, restrictions introduced to counter the spread of COVID-19 have exacerbated the gap between domestic and family violence service demand and the availability and accessibility of support services for those experiencing and using domestic violence.
This research investigates women’s experiences of violence and help-seeking under the COVID-19 restrictions as well as the impact on the wellbeing of practitioners who provide support during this time.
This mixed methods research brings together the experiences of practitioners responding to family violence during the coronavirus lockdowns via a multi-wave practitioner survey and focus groups as well as service provider data. This research is being carried out in partnership with Domestic Violence Victoria, No to Violence and inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence. The Queensland Domestic Violence Services Network, Women’s Safety NSW and the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency have also shared data for this project.