A number of research pieces have now been released, revealing a devastating impact of the COVID-19 social isolation measures on victims of domestic and family violence. Notable reports include Women’s Safety NSW, Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Service Network and Monash University’s surveys of frontline domestic and family violence specialist experiences in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, respectively, and most recently the Australian Institute of Criminology report which captured the experiences of 15,000 Australian women through the pandemic.
What has not yet been investigated is the specific impact of COVID-19 on migrant and refugee women experiencing domestic and family violence. This report offers the experiences and professional observations of multicultural domestic and family violence specialists supporting hundreds of these very women at this critical time. What they’ve reported is that migrant and refugee women who are experiencing domestic and family violence are at higher risk than they have ever been before and that urgent action is needed if we are going to save lives.
In order to compile this report, Women’s Safety NSW undertook extensive consultation with these frontline multicultural domestic and family violence specialists through online surveys and discussion forums to ascertain how the COVID-19 outbreak was affecting their clients who are migrant and refugee women experience domestic and family violence (DFV).