Help for domestic violence services


EXTRA measures to ensure those experiencing domestic, family and sexual violence know where to get help during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Help is Here campaign is part of a $150 million federal government package helping support services meet demand.

Advertising will be splashed across TV, digital, social media, radio, magazines and newspapers, as well as at shopping centres, hospitals and GPs’ surgeries.

This comes after a family violence victims’ advocate said she feared enforced isolation because of enforced restrictions could lead to an increase in abuse.

Dromana resident Geraldine Bilston said isolated living, less contact with people outside their homes, financial pressures and unforeseen stresses could mean “we are now bracing for an increase in domestic violence on the Mornington Peninsula” (“Fears of rise in family violence” The News 14/4/20.)

“It’s important that anybody who feels unsafe in their home is able access help,” Flinders MP and Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

“Our homes are a sanctuary to most but, tragically, in some cases a home is not safe for them or their children.”

Hotlines offering support are 1800RESPECT and MensLine, where trained counsellors are available via online chat or phone. Calls are free, confidential and available at all times.

Reportedly, since the pandemic began, more than 15 per cent of contacts for MensLine Australia have been COVID-19 specific, while there has been an 11 per cent increase in people accessing 1800RESPECT over the same time last year.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 12 May 2020


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