Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Tania Farha said specialist family violence services had seen an increase in the frequency, severity and complexity of family violence incidents during the pandemic.
“For some victim-survivors, the violence has intensified and become more prolonged during the pandemic,” she said. “Others are reporting family violence for the first time. Specialist family violence services also report that they are getting an increased number of calls from third parties, such as friends and family, who are concerned about their loved ones.”
She said that people are finding ways to use the pandemic to justify abusive and controlling behaviours, and new forms of violence emerged. “Isolating someone from family and friends is a very common tactic in family violence. Pandemic restrictions are providing perpetrators with more opportunities to force victim-survivors to isolate from their family, friends and other community support networks, as well as support they might otherwise find in their workplaces.”