Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://anrows.intersearch.com.au/anrowsjspui/handle/1/22512
Record ID: e573701a-a1bc-4e79-b44e-ed828a01a311
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12870
Type: Journal Article
Title: Responding to women experiencing domestic and family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: Exploring experiences and impacts of remote service delivery in Australia
Authors: Meyer, Silke
Pfitzner, Naomi
Fitz-Gibbon, Kate
ANRA Topic: Natural disasters and pandemics
Drivers of violence against women
Data development
ANRA Population: General population
Categories: ANROWS Completed Register of Active Research projects
Year: 2022
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Volume 27, Issue 1
Abstract:  The COVID-19 health pandemic has increased women's vulnerability to all forms of domestic and family violence (DFV). In the first weeks of March 2020, most Australian states and territories, like many other jurisdictions, entered into a period of government-directed restrictions including stay-at-home orders, physical distancing limitations and closure of a significant number of community services. With more people confined to their homes, the risk of DFV increased at the same time as access to support services was reduced. In this article, we present the findings of two surveys conducted in the Australian states of Victoria and Queensland to explore the professional experiences of practitioners supporting women experiencing violence during the pandemic. Our analysis offers new insights into the ways in which practitioners pivoted their services to respond remotely to women experiencing violence and the challenges of effectively undertaking safety planning and risk assessment without face-to-face contact. The second half of this article examines the implications of remote service delivery on practitioner mental health and well-being. The findings have global relevance and reveal the critical need to prioritize well-being supports for DFV practitioners in crisis response plans.
Notes: 

The research has concluded and the output has been added to the ANROWS library. Please visit https://www.anrows.org.au/register-of-active-research/ for more information on the RAR.

BACKGROUND

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.

AIM

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.

METHODS

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.

SIGNIFICANCE

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.

FUNDING BODY

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

PROJECT START DATE

March 2020

EXPECTED COMPLETION DATE

January 2022

URI: https://anrows.intersearch.com.au/anrowsjspui/handle/1/22512
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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