A new survey has revealed an increase in the number of domestic violence against women cases since COVID-19 ‘stay home’ orders were put in place in NSW.
A Women’s Safety NSW frontline services survey reported an additional 40 per cent increase in cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing laws.
Women’s Safety NSW CEO Hayley Foster said certain areas across the state had experienced a varied amount of ‘reach-outs’, where others had remained stable.
“We’ve been surveying services across the state since the COVID crisis hit, and initially there were some areas that had an increase in client numbers, some areas were stationary and some with a decline, but overall there has been a significant increase in numbers,” she said.
Ms Foster said many people had chosen not to take further action on initial reported incidents.
“There has been a reduction in help-seeking behaviours, and when we contact women after a police incident, many many women are showing a reluctance to engage in support,” she said.
Ms Foster urged the NSW government to do more to address the increase in domestic violence against women under current ‘stay at home’ orders.
“We’re trying to encourage the NSW government to put in place new measurements,” she said.
“New South Wales Police have released an online application that was brought out yesterday, that enables people to contact the police through an online format.”
A NSW Police Force member, who asked to remain anonymous, said there were many contributing factors as to why domestic violence reports had increased.
“There are a few reasons, one being the closure of licensed premises, such as pubs and bars, therefore alcohol consumption at home has increased,” they said.
“Unemployment is another major contributor, as many individuals are stuck at home keeping themselves busy.”