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Issues and resources on COVID-19 for family violence and related services

March 20, 2020 at 2:15 PM

From the NZFVC

As the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation continues to evolve, many organisations are working on preparedness and response. We have collated information on potential issues to consider for family violence and related services.

Impacts on victim/survivors

People experiencing family violence may be at heightened risk of escalating abuse during this time. Women’s Refuge Chief Executive Dr Ang Jury said:

“Isolating and social distancing can have unintended consequences for women who are living with the people abusing them. Isolation from wider family, friends, and colleagues is a well-known method abusers use to exercise control over victims. Increased isolation also means victims are unable to seek respite from their partners by getting out of the house and doing everyday things.”

Women's Refuge also highlighted:

"Services, too, may be harder to access when staff are taking extra precautions about illness or are also self-isolating. That means more of the responsibility for supporting people at risk falls to the community. Dr Jury says there are a lot of small things that friends and family can do to offer support. 'Checking in with people you’re concerned about in advance and that they’re in regular contact with people they trust – these things can make a really big difference.'

Women’s Refuge is working with government to ensure women can still access help. It will remain open during the pandemic and the crisis line will continue operating. If anyone is worried about someone they think might be at risk of violence, they can call 0800 REFUGE, which is available 24/7."

For general information about what to do if you are worried about someone's safety, see the It's Not OK campaign.

Click here to read the rest of the NZFVC's coverage of this issue

Category: Community Notices