Domestic violence services prepare for demand as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease

Alison Macdonald, acting chief executive of Domestic Violence Victoria, said there was clear evidence a surge in demand was coming.

“We know from international evidence that there are spikes in family violence in post emergency and post crisis situations,” she said.

“We know that from Australian experience with bushfires, with floods and with cyclones.

“Of course, we haven’t seen a crisis of this nature before, but if we apply what we know from other emergency situations, I think we are anticipating to see a surge in demand once social restrictions are lifted.”

Ms Macdonald told the ABC the coronavirus pandemic had already changed how domestic violence support was being offered, and that would have to continue even as restrictions were eased.

“Services have been quite extraordinary in moving their work to remote, online, and telephone-based platforms in response to the pandemic, and so that we can ensure there’s service continuity during this period,” she said.