Note: If you have been abused and need urgent help, call 000 for police protection or scroll down to find one of the support service hotline numbers.
In these challenging times of COVID-19, where there are restrictions upon our movements, homes can become tinder boxes of frustration, anger, and sadly, sometimes that can lead to violence.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has just released its latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 survey and the findings are not surprising. There have been increases in the number of people who are reporting that they’re lonely, and they’re spending more time spent in front of the computer, TV or devices. People are also eating more junk food, drinking more alcohol, and not exercising.
All these factors – along with the fear generated by all the news reports and social media – can create an unstable and uncertain environment at home. There are serious negative effects for victims, families, children, and the broader community. And the United Nations has called for urgent action to address the global increase in domestic violence.
What domestic abuse looks like
You should be aware that domestic abuse takes a number of different forms. According to Lifeline, abuse can include emotional and psychological, financial (withholding money), verbal, physical, and cultural. And there are serious negative effects for victims, families, children, and the broader community.
If you feel you are at risk, if you’re experiencing negative behaviours or are hurt in any way, it’s important for you to know that there are plenty of support services who can help you. Likewise, if you find yourself feeling the urge to act in aggressive or abusive ways towards your loved ones there are resources available that will protect your anonymity and can start the process of easing some of the pressures you may be filling. Please see a list of resources below.
Domestic violence is more common than we might think
The figures are alarming. On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner. One in 6 women (and 1 in 16 men) have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner since the age of 15. And 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse since 15. Almost 40% of women continued to experience violence from their partner while they were temporarily separated.
If you’ve been a victim of domestic violence, there are qualified specialists who can support you during one of the hardest times of your life. Here are key support numbers.
If you are experiencing an emergency please contact 000 to contact police right away.
For other support and resources please contact the following:
• NSW Domestic Violence Line – The Domestic Violence Line is a NSW statewide telephone crisis counselling and referral service for women, including trans women. They can help women in a number of different ways including creating a safety plan for you and your children, talking to the police, attaining an AVO, finding shelter etc. They are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. Available 24 hours 7 days. Call 1800 737 732.
• 1800RESPECT – This is the national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling service for anyone in Australia who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence or sexual assault. 24 hours, 7 days a week. Available 24 hours 7 days. Call 1800 737 732.
• MensLine Australia – This is a telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns, including issues of violence. Available 24 hours 7 days. Call 1300 789 978.
Also, each state and territory in Australia also has its own hotline number and set-up.
Are you facing charges?
At CM Lawyers, we understand these challenging times can result in bad outcomes. Extra stress and financial pressures are mounting during this unprecedented time. We understand that these challenges can lead to hostile and toxic environments and those frustrations can spill over into domestic violence and other situations.
If you are a loved one is facing any charges stemming from a domestic situation, please contact our team of lawyers who are ready to help you navigate your case.
Please note that we are not able to help you if you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse. If you feel you are in a situation where your health and safety is at risk please contact the police or one of the support groups listed here.