Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://anrows.intersearch.com.au/anrowsjspui/handle/1/22513
Record ID: c80ec53d-bd9b-4090-bc48-dd3d1132f271
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/239868021X16420024310873
Type: Journal Article
Title: When staying home isn’t safe: Australian practitioner experiences of responding to intimate partner violence during COVID-19 restrictions
Authors: Pfitzner, Naomi
True, Jacqui
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: Bristol University Press
Abstract:  Times of crisis are associated with increased violence against women, often with reduced access to support services. COVID-19 is no exception with public health control measures restricting people’s movements and confining many women and children to homes with their abusers. Recognising the safety risks posed by lockdowns the United Nations declared violence against women ‘the shadow pandemic’ in April 2020. In the Australian state of Victoria, residents spent over a third of 2020 in strict lockdown. Based on an online survey of 166 Victorian practitioners between April and May 2020 using rating scales and open-ended questions, our study revealed that women’s experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) intensified during lockdown. COVID-19 restrictions created new barriers to help-seeking and necessitated the rapid transition to remote service delivery models during a time of heightened risk. This article provides insights into how practitioners innovated and adapted their practices to provide continued support during a high demand. Our study exposed the significant toll responding to IPV during the pandemic is having on practitioners. We explore the impact of remote service delivery on practitioner mental health and wellbeing and the quality of care provided.
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/1/22513
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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