Did you know that family and domestic violence escalates at times of natural disasters?
Sadly though, it is often missed or under reported.
You may have heard the recent media reports about users of violence, using COVID-19 to control their victims, many of whom are their family and intimate partners.
Domestic violence is all about POWER and CONTROL, with the user of violence trying to exert their power or control over their partner and/or family. Natural disasters and emergencies, such as pandemics, floods or bushfires, can cause financial stress and homelessness, all of which take an emotional toll on people.
Research suggests that family and domestic violence also escalates during these times and for some women they may experience violence for the first time, whilst others experience an increase in ongoing violent behaviour by intimate partner or family.
As we move into uncertain times with the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing requirements for social distancing and isolation, women can become more vulnerable. Home may be a sanctuary for most people, but not for victims of family and domestic violence. As a result of the new rules, they may be separated from support systems, such as their families and friends that previously offered protection. Instead they now may have to rely on the perpetrator for survival and access to services.
The Mental Health Impact: Women exposed to domestic violence are twice as likely to experience depression.
What Can I Do? There is evidence that effective counselling interventions can reverse the damaging effects of trauma from family and domestic Violence.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I am offering bulk billed telehealth sessions. Please contact Vision Psychology to book in for a session today.
Author: Maree Stevens, BAdVocEd; GCert Sp Ed; M SocWk; M HumServ; GDipCouns; GCert MentalHlthPrac.
Maree is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with several years’ experience counselling people impacted by domestic abuse. She is so passionate about support for victims of family and domestic violence that she volunteers her time to support homeless families impacted by FDV through St Vincent De Paul.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.
- Australian Disaster Resilience Hub. https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/resources/ajem-apr-2013-the-hidden-disaster-domestic-violence-in-the-aftermath-of-natural-disaster/
- World Health Organisation https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/publications/violence/violence_disasters.pdf