Regrettably, it is predicted that there will be a rise in domestic violence during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is an unintended consequence of families being kept home, stressed and potentially out of employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also an unintended consequence for people living in already abusive homes, as they are having to spend more time with their abuser - and thus be at a heightened risk of further abuse.

The key message is that if you are feeling unsafe and are being subjected to physical, emotional or psychological abuse during the lockdown period, you can still get help. Your first port if there is an immediate safety risk is to call the Police on 111.

Despite the nationwide lockdown, the Family Court is continuing to operate and deal with urgent matters, given it is considered an essential service. The Family Court will continue to deal with all matters concerning personal safety and the wellbeing of children, including proceedings relating to family violence, and care and protection matters.

We are able to assist with applications for protection orders and putting you in contact with appropriate services that can provide additional support such as alternative accommodation during this lockdown period. Shine, Women's Refuge and other services that deal with victims of family harm and sexual violence have been categorised as essential services and will be available to assist. You do not need to suffer during the lockdown period.

Helpful links

Quick exit:
Covering tracks:
Other support:

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.