‘I knew I needed an escape plan.’ The reality of leaving an abusive relationship in 2020.

Tania Farha, the CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria, tells Mamamia: “The pandemic restrictions are providing perpetrators with more opportunities for victim-survivors to isolate from their family, friends, other community support networks, as well as support they might otherwise find in their workplaces.” During this pandemic there has also been an increase in first-time reporters of family violence, Farha says. She adds that with the economic fallout of coronavirus, perpetrators are “tightening controls over finances and we’re seeing increases in financial abuse”.

“Victim-survivors are facing increased barriers to access support, for example finding time and space when they’re alone,” the CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria explains. “It can be hard to contact services without their abusers knowing.”“Hence it is really important to let people know that services are still open.