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Record ID: 8f5e088b-4ace-4022-9693-65e22ad0acb7
Type: Report
Title: When homes becomes the workplace : Family violence, practitioner wellbeing and remote service delivery during COVID-19 restrictions
Authors: Pfitzner, Naomi
True, Jacqui
McGowan, Jasmine
Fitz-Gibbon, Kate
ANRA Topic: Natural disasters and pandemics
Drivers of violence against women
Data development
ANRA Population: General population
Categories: COVID-19 Research
ANROWS Completed Register of Active Research projects
Year: 2020
Publisher: Monash University
Abstract:  This report draws attention to the wellbeing considerations for Victorian practitioners working remotely to support people experiencing and using violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides critical insights into how practitioners can be supported remotely to do this incredibly challenging yet crucial work. As Victoria moves through the easing of restrictions and attempts to achieve a COVID-normal working environment in the midst of a global health crisis, the findings presented here are vital for understanding the wellbeing supports required to ensure effective and sustainable practice for family violence practitioners. The increased prevalence and risk of family violence during this period necessitates that we do everything possible to ensure that the wellbeing of practitioners working to respond to those experiencing and using family violence is supported as they provide vital services to the Victorian community.

The research has concluded and the output has been added to the ANROWS library. Please visit for more information on the RAR.


Times of crisis and natural disasters are associated with increased violence against women and children and often with reduced access to support services. COVID-19 is no exception, with pandemic control measures restricting people’s movements and confining many women and children to homes with their abusers. In April 2020 the UN Secretary-General labelled violence against women the "shadow pandemic". In Australia, like elsewhere in the world, restrictions introduced to counter the spread of COVID-19 have exacerbated the gap between domestic and family violence service demand and the availability and accessibility of support services for those experiencing and using domestic violence.


This research investigates women’s experiences of violence and help-seeking under the COVID-19 restrictions as well as the impact on the wellbeing of practitioners who provide support during this time.


This mixed methods research brings together the experiences of practitioners responding to family violence during the coronavirus lockdowns via a multi-wave practitioner survey and focus groups as well as service provider data. This research is being carried out in partnership with Domestic Violence Victoria, No to Violence and inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence. The Queensland Domestic Violence Services Network, Women’s Safety NSW and the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency have also shared data for this project.


This research will help us to understand women’s experiences of violence and help-seeking under the COVID-19 restrictions as well as the impact on health and social care workers who provide support during this time. We will share the results widely to help governments and other organisations understand what women experiencing violence need now and to prepare for the future.


Funded by Monash University as part of the "Melbourne Experiment" project


March 2020


January 2022

ISBN: 978-0-6488966-4-7
Appears in Collections:ANROWS Notepad 2020

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