COVID-19 FAST FACTS
Prevalence of domestic violence among women during the COVID-19 pandemic
These fact sheets capture findings from the Australian Institute of Criminology’s survey of 15,000 women about their experiences of violence in the months (February to May 2020) when Australia first began to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AIC study was the first nation-wide academic survey of women’s self-reported experiences of violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. ANROWS has collaborated with the AIC to produce three fact sheets highlighting the results from the study.
The study is the most robust dataset existing in Australia about DFV prevalence during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and offers insights into:
- barriers for women to seeking help
- impact of increased time at home, social isolation and financial stress
- populations most at risk of experiencing DFV.
Key findings of the study include:
- Two thirds of women who experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former cohabiting partner since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic said the violence had started or escalated in the three months prior to the survey.
- Many women, particularly those experiencing more serious or complex forms of violence and abuse, reported safety concerns were a barrier to seeking help.
These resources provide guidance for policymakers and practitioners in further understanding women’s experiences of DFV during the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources, and the reports they are based on, assist in understanding current and future responses to pandemics and disasters, and are important for informing practice design and policy relating to DFV service provision and housing, financial and priority population-specific services.
Building on this study, the AIC is has administered another survey for which the findings will be published in October 2021. Please note, however, that the results of the two surveys cannot be directly compared, due to changes to the observation period, sampling frame and method, and survey design and questionnaire. Both surveys also used non-probability – and therefore non-generalisable – samples. You can read more about the next study here.
1. Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2021). Prevalence of domestic violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic [Fact sheet]. ANROWS.
2. Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2021). The impact of financial stress, time at home and social isolation on the likelihood of women experiencing physical and sexual forms of domestic violence during COVID-19 [Fact sheet]. ANROWS.
3. Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2021). Domestic violence among women from priority populations during the COVID-19 pandemic [Fact sheet]. ANROWS.