For up to date public health advice, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.
For further advice for the community sector, please visit the VCOSS website.
For DHHS Service Delivery Guidelines, visit:
- COVID-19 Plan for the Victorian Community Services Sector
- COVID-19 Family Violence and Sexual Assault Sector Guidelines (Version 1.0)
Contacts at DV Vic for updates and advice related to family violence and COVID-19:
- Updates and information on policy, strategy & advocacy related to the family violence systemic response during the COVID-19 pandemic: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Advice, support & information on specialist family violence practice responses in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: email@example.com
As your voice against violence, Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) works to improve the safety and wellbeing of adults and children who have experienced, or are at risk of, family violence. The safety and wellbeing of victim survivors is foremost in our efforts and advocacy at this time of unprecedented need, as our community grapples with the challenge of managing the current COVID-19 global pandemic. DV Vic would like to thank everyone who has contacted our organisation expressing concern for the safety of victim-survivors of family violence.
Our knowledge of how a public health emergency like COVID-19 will impact on the dynamics of family violence is new and emerging. However, we know that disasters result in an increase in the severity and frequency of family violence and can trigger a change in the nature and tactics of family violence already being used or even the onset of family violence. Add to this the unique conditions of physical and social isolation in response to the pandemic, and a situation is created where survivors of family violence including children face even more barriers to accessing support. Global evidence is emerging that demonstrates that there is a spike in family violence during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Monash University recently published “Responding to the ‘shadow pandemic’: practitioner views on the nature of and responses to violence against women in Victoria, Australia during the COVID-19 restrictions” which found an increase in the frequency and severity of violence against women alongside an increase in the complexity of women’s needs.
Our message to all victim-survivors, family and friends, and other service providers is that specialist family violence services are open and available for support and advice for anyone experiencing family violence who is worried about how potential self-isolation or quarantine will impact on their safety and well-being.
If you feel unsafe or are concerned for someone’s safety, please call 000 or contact the police in your state or territory.
For confidential crisis support, information and accommodation please call the safe steps 24/7 family violence response line on 1800 015 188.
For confidential phone help and referral in Australia, please contact 1800RESPECT, the National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line on 1800 737 732.
For specialist support for Aboriginal people experiencing family violence, please contact Djirra on 1800 105 303 or visit www.djirra.org.au
For specialist family violence services for women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, their families and their communities, please call InTouch on 1800 755 988 or visit www.intouch.org.au
For a specialist LGBTIQ family violence service, please contact W|Respect on 1800 LGBTIQ (1800 542 847) or visit www.withrespect.org.au
For legal advice, please call the Victoria Legal Aid Advice Line on 1300 792 387.
Given the exceptional circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we are keen to give our members and community an update on measures DV Vic is putting in place to support our staff, member organisations, family violence workforce, colleagues, and partners; and the advocacy, policy and practice development work we are doing to support specialist family violence services to continue support to victim survivors during this time. This includes:
- Working with the specialist family violence services sector and the Victorian Government to adapt risk assessment processes in the Multi Agency Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework to reflect the additional risk that COVID-19 may present for victim-survivors who may be required to self-isolate or quarantine with people using violence against them.
- Working with the specialist family violence services sector, Family Safety Victoria and partners to support a systemic approach to family violence service delivery continuity planning to ensure that victims-survivors of family violence have access to services and support throughout the pandemic period.
- As of Monday 16 March, DV Vic has implemented working from home arrangements for our staff. This will not affect our day to day work, and you can expect to contact DV Vic staff through the usual channels. We will cancel, postpone or move online any of our upcoming meetings or forums and will communicate directly with the participants of any of those events about specific arrangements.
- As this dynamic situation unfolds DV Vic will provide regular updates to members via our newsletter and email notices. Email us to enquire about DV Vic membership.
- We will keep updating this page as further information becomes available.