We continue to operate as per usual.
During COVID-19 we will continue to operate as per usual. We are adhering to Government guidelines and associated travel restrictions, however, your safety remains our priority – and we continue to be available 24/7. We appreciate that this is a confusing time with a lot of media coverage surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and that information is changing rapidly. Be assured that if you are experiencing domestic violence or need support due to sexual assault, we have all the necessary plans in place to continue to be here for you.
Call Womensline 1800 811 811, anytime 24/7
Call Mensline 1800 600 636, between 9am – midnight, 7 days
Call Sexual Assault Helpline 1800 010 120, between 7.30am – 11.30am, 7 days.
Self isolation and COVID-19
Our friends at 1800RESECT have put the below together to help anyone whose home is not a safe place. Self isolation and increased stress during COVID-19 will likely see an increase in domestic violence incidents. Research has found that there is often a spike in violence against women during disasters, which have similar features to the current COVID crisis.
During self isolation people will find themselves at home with an abusive partner, and without access to their usual support. There are a number of things you can do to try and keep safe. It’s also important for people to keep in touch with their friends or family members who may be in an unsafe position.
Safety planning tips
- Contact 1800RESPECT by phone or web chat when it is safe to do so. Our counsellors are experienced in dealing with situations where the person using violence is still in the house, and will work with you on a safety plan
- Identify safe areas of the house where there are less dangerous items and may be ways to escape if possible
- Have a phone charged and accessible, with stored important numbers, and a back up phone if possible
- Call 000 at any time if you are in immediate danger, and teach your children how to call 000 if you are unable to do so. You will have to notify the police if there are COVID19 concerns at your home
- Let trusted friends and neighbours know of your situation and develop a plan (this might include a code word or visual signal if you need help)
- Make a habit of backing into the driveway and keeping the car fuelled
- Look through our Escape Bag checklist and make a note of things you may need to take with you (for example, phone and charger, keys, important documents, key card or cash)
- Download the Sunny or Daisy apps for more information about safety planning and services in your area.
Supporting someone impacted by domestic violence
- Believe them and take their fears seriously
- Never blame the person experiencing violence for what has happened to them
- Don’t make excuses for the person who has hurt them
- Support them whenever they need to talk
- Be part of their safety plan: know the code words or signals if they need to escape
- Help in practical ways, for example by providing them with transport, a phone or a place to escape to
- Call 000 at any time if they are in immediate danger.
Looking after your mental health
Whatever your situation may be, it’s important to look after your mental health during self isolation. There are things you can do on a daily basis to help keep your stress and anxiety levels manageable.
- Get your information from trusted sources, such as Department of Health and World Health Organisation
- Maintain your support networks however you can (for example, by text or online) and reach out to them whenever you need to talk
- Look after your general health where you can, including eating good food, getting exercise and sleeping regularly
- Try to maintain a schedule where possible (for example, waking up at the same time each day, regular meal and exercise and sleep times)
- Continue with your self care activities, and do things that help you relax
- Reach out for support: services such as Beyond Blue are still operating during COVID19, and are available by phone, chat and email. You may also like to join a Forum and have an online community to support you and provide tips.
For more information on looking after your mental health during self isolation, see articles on the BeyondBlue and MensLine web pages.