The pandemic has been a stressful time for many Australians, including veterans and their families. An often hidden side effect of events like the coronavirus pandemic or bushfires is the increased risk of family and domestic violence.
Family and domestic violence can include any behaviour that is violent, threatening, coercive, controlling or intended to cause the family or household member to be fearful.
If you or someone you know is being impacted by family and domestic violence, help is available. We can connect you to counselling services, financial support and crisis accommodation through Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling.
Almost 1 in 6 Australian women and 1 in 16 Australian men have experienced domestic violence, with the majority of these cases occurring in their home. Survivors of family and domestic violence can be from any background, gender or age group, and include children, adults and the elderly.
The Australian Institute of Criminology found that during the coronavirus pandemic there was a 4.6% increase in reports of women experiencing physical or sexual violence, a 5.8 % increase in women experiencing coercive control and an 11.6 % increase in women experiencing other forms of domestic and family violence. MensLine Australia also reported a significant increase in calls from men concerned about their own behaviour towards partners and children.
- Call triple zero (000) if you are in immediate danger.
- 1800RESPECT is open 24/7 for national family violence and sexual assault counselling. It’s a free and confidential service. Call 1800RESPECT (or 1800 737 732) or visit their website (1800respect.org.au).
- MensLine Australia provides free 24/7 help, support, referrals and counselling services for men via telephone or online. Call 1300 78 99 78 or visit their website (mensline.org.au).
- Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling provides crisis support to veterans and their families. The service is free, confidential and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1800 011 046 or visit the Open Arms website.
Visit the DVA website to read more about the DVA Family and Domestic Violence Strategy 2020–25.