For many women, young women and girls, home can be a dangerous place. While COVID-19 quarantining helps to flatten the curve, it may be making instances of domestic and family violence more frequent, severe and dangerous. With families in lockdown, and financial insecurity and mental health concerns on the rise, it’s predicted that abusive relationships will continue to intensify, as they do during peak holiday times and natural disasters.
With one in six Australian women having experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former partner, the possible implications of women being trapped at home and having nowhere to go are alarming.
Women experiencing domestic and family violence are now isolated at home with their abusers, unable to leave the house to access the resources that could help them. The added burden of financial pressures through job loss or job reduction could exacerbate the situation – a recent report shows that women’s economic participation has fallen 2.9 per cent since COVID-19 struck.
For women who already disproportionately occupy part-time and casual employment, are paid 14 per cent less than men, and retire with around half the superannuation of men, this amplified loss of economic security can make it that much harder to make the decision to leave domestic and family violence, especially if the alternative is homelessness.
A recent report by YWCA highlights that nearly 1 in 4 women on low-to-moderate incomes in regional Australia reported that domestic and family violence had negatively affected their finances and housing.
This cannot continue – and with your help, we can do more.
The safety and wellbeing of women, young women and girls is paramount. We firmly believe all women, young women and girls should be able to live a life where they are safe and respected, with equal access to power, opportunity and resources.
It’s why we’re so proud of our 140-year history in Australia, and of providing housing and accommodation for women and their families.
Our domestic and family violence services are currently preparing for a dramatic increase of women in need after COVID-19, mirroring our experience after the bushfire crisis where the number of serious threat cases doubled in a single month.
Despite the magnitude of challenges faced by Australians over the last six months, you’re still here – you care and want to take action. That’s why we’re asking if you can support us today with a tax-deductible donation of $75 to support women escaping domestic and family violence.
We know this pandemic is affecting everyone right now, and whilst we are all feeling the impact of COVID-19, some women will be much more adversely affected than others.
As academic Cynthia Enloe put it, “We aren’t all in this together. We’re in the same rough seas, but we’re in very different boats. And some of those boats are very leaky. And some of those boats were never given oars. And some of those boats have high-powered motors on them. We are not all in the same boat.”
If you’re able to help, please act by donating today. All donations over $2 received by 30 June can be claimed as a part of your 2020 tax deductions.
We can’t do this alone – please donate TODAY.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence during the current pandemic, being at home may not be the safest place. You can find help by calling 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or by visiting www.1800RESPECT.org.au. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.