Family violence and coronavirus

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Photo of a teddy bear in a window on a white-painted house

Like many people, your life has probably changed significantly due to the physical distancing measures designed to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community. 

This may include changes to your employment or loss of family income or new caring responsibilities and living arrangements. These changes can also have significant impacts on your mental and physical health. 

The behaviour of your partner or family members could also change or escalate during this time. If this behaviour makes you fear for your safety, it could be family violence.  

The signs of family violence

Physical distancing and the fears and uncertainty of COVID-19 can give family violence perpetrators new opportunities to be abusive and controlling. These behaviours could include:

  • Stopping you from leaving the house or visiting the doctor.
  • Increased surveillance, such as monitoring handwashing/personal hygiene.   
  • Heightened monitoring and control of who you speak to by phone or online. 
  • Greater interference of the relationship between you and your children or other household members.
  • Exploiting any health issues that you or other household members may have to assert coercive control.
  • Forcing you to do things outside of the public health measures currently in place.

Remember – you have the right to feel safe, access medical support and communicate with friends and family. You have the right to leave the house for any of the reasons outlined by the government, such as going to work, buying groceries or getting exercise. 

Get local support

If you are finding parenting challenging at the moment, there are services that can support you and your child during this time. 

Yarra provides support for parents through our Family Support program. Simply call us on 9205 5555 and ask for our Intake Case Worker. 

There are also a range of free and confidential family violence phone and online support services available to you:

If you think you or a family member are in immediate danger from family violence, please call Triple Zero on 000. 

More information

Get more information on Support for Families in Yarra. 


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