For many people, being at home is not always a safe place. The statistics overall suggest that there has been an increase in domestic and family violence during this pandemic. We are witnessing a funding boost to domestic and family violence services as the sector grapples with the destructive results of social isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This pandemic has been stressful for everyone, but it is no excuse for abusive behaviour or making family members feel unsafe.
Family violence is emotional abuse, financial abuse, physical or sexual violence and coercive, controlling or emotionally or psychologically abusive behaviour from a person in your family or an intimate partner. The definition of family violence is quite broad, and if you feel afraid for your own safety or wellbeing, or for a family member, you should contact one of these helplines immediately.
· 1800 Respect National Helpline: 1800 737 732
· Women’s Crisis Line (NSW): 1800 656 463
· Safe Steps Crisis Line (Vic): 1800 015 188
· Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491
· Lifeline (24-hour Crisis Line): 131 114
· Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
If you are in immediate danger, do not wait and call the police on 000. Victoria Police also continues to address domestic and family violence as a priority. Magistrates’ Courts are still open and family violence matters continue to be heard, with urgent and high-risk matters being prioritised.
If you have a court date for a family violence intervention order or safety notice, or if you have any concerns relating to the above, please do not hesitate to contact us for legal advice on 03 9614 7111.