COVID-19: Support services and commentary

We are in the uncertain times posed by COVID-19.

The coming months will see Australian households and individuals experience higher levels of stress, financial uncertainty, and health threats than those imaginable to us previously.

We are committed to ensuring that the community remain safe and supported during this time.

We have prepared the attached list of individual and family focused support services that are accessible remotely. You can also view this list below.

For those that have used these services before we would encourage you to stay in touch with them remotely over this period.

For those who haven’t use a service before but are experiencing new or increased stress or fear of violence during this time we would recommend you to reach out.

We encourage you to share this with members of your community, your family and friends.

Stay well and stay safe.

Recent media contributions and opinion

May 2020

ABC Big Ideas with Paul Barclay - COVID-19 and domestic violence

Centre researchers Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Jude McCulloch, JaneMaree Maher, Silke Meyer and Marie Segrave spoke about COVID-19 and domestic violence for ABC show Big Ideas with Paul Barclay. The episode covers issues such as the increased invisibility of perpetrators as well as victims, current difficulties in accessing help, the important role of bystanders such as friends and neighbours during this time and the increase in the number of cases of family violence as well as in the level of violence itself. Our researchers ask, how do we keep domestic violence ‘in view' and, how can accountability be maintained?

Listen to the episode - COVID-19 and domestic violence - via the ABC website here.

Monash University campaign on the impact of COVID-19 on family violence

In this video, Centre Director Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Senior Researcher Professor JaneMaree Maher answer Monash Alumni questions about the impact of COVID-19 on family violence and what we can do to support women and children at this time.

COVID-19 Policy Insights from the Monash Faculty of Arts

The COVID-19 crisis has necessitated rapid and flexible policy responses. Now is the time to develop policies that reflect the kind of society we want Australia to be. Centre Researchers, alongside other experts from across the Monash Arts Faculty, have outlined their policy insights on the social repercussions of COVID-19 and the strategies we might adopt to mitigate against these repercussions.

Centre Director Kate Fitz-Gibbon writes that in order to combat family violence, Australia needs dedicated funding of men’s services, police commitment to proactive policing of known high risk family violence perpetrators, and for courts to ensure a risk-sensitive lens in family violence matters. Read more here.

Centre Deputy Director Silke Meyer argues that Australia needs a dedicated bystander helpline that provides information and support for anyone aware of, or suspecting, family violence and unsure what to do about it and/ or are in need of support themselves. Read more here.

Centre Researcher JaneMaree Maher contends that the value of care work needs to be formalised by setting wages that meet the level of skill and contribution to society that paid care-workers offer, and through policy that addresses the unequal, and often gendered, burden of un-paid care in families and the community. Read more here.

Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre Deputy Director Silke Meyer spoke on 2BS about the impact of COVID-19 on women and children. She spoke about women's unpaid labour and the increase of family violence risk during the pandemic when families are spending more time together in a confined space. Associate Professor Meyer reiterated how it is now more important than ever to inform victims of abuse that support services are available. Listen to the interview here.

Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre Director Kate Fitz-Gibbon was interviewed on Mamamia podcast The Quicky about COVID-19 restrictions, family violence and women's help seeking behaviours. You can listen to the episode, titled, ‘No Escape: How To Help Women Locked Inside With Their Abusers’, here.

April 2020

Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre Director Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Deputy Director Silke Meyer spoke to Women's Safety NSW about family violence and the bystander role  during COVID-19. Watch the videos made by Women's Safety NSW below.


Fitz-Gibbon, K. & Meyer, S. (2020) ‘The senate inquiry into family violence has closed missing an important opportunity’ The Conversation, 21 May.

Fitz-Gibbon, K., Burley, J., & Meyer, S. (2020) 'How do we keep family violence perpetrators ‘in view’ during the COVID-19 lockdown?' The Conversation, 28 April.

Meyer, S. & Fitz-Gibbon, K. (2020) ‘COVID-19: The bystander role has never been more critical in calling out family violence' Monash Lens, 9 April

Walklate, S. (2020) ‘COVID-19 lockdown: “The home remains the most dangerous place for women (and children)”’, Liverpool View, 6 April.

Segrave, M. & Maher, JM. (2020) Coronavirus: ‘Family violence and temporary migration in the time of COVID-19’ Monash Lens, 2 April 2020.

Fitz-Gibbon, K., & Meyer, S. (2020) 'Coronavirus: fear of family violence spike as COVID-19 impact hits households', Monash Lens, 18 March 2020.

Family violence support
1800 Respect National sexual assault and domestic/family violence counselling service Ph: 1800 737 732
Safe Steps Supporting women and children in Victoria to live free from family violence Ph: 1800 015 188
No to Violence Working with men to end family violence in Victoria and New South Wales Ph: 1300 766 491
MensLine Australia National telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns Ph: 1300 789 978
Relationships Australia National support for relationships for abusive and abused partners Ph: 1300 264 277
InTouch Multicultural centre supporting the needs of refugee and migrant women experiencing family violence. Ph: 1800 755 988
Djirra Supporting the safety and well-being of Aboriginal women experiencing family violence. Ph: 1800 105 303
Parent services
Parentline Phone service for parents and carers of children from birth to 18 years old offering confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues Ph: 13 22 89
PANDA National support for individuals and families to recover from perinatal anxiety and depression Ph: 1300 726 306
Mental health services
Beyond Blue National mental health support Ph: 1300 224 636
Lifeline Crisis support and suicide prevention Ph: 13 11 14
SANE Support for Australians affected by complex mental health issues Ph: 1800 187 263
Suicide call back service National telephone and online support for those affected by suicide Ph: 1300 659 467
Children and young people’s services
Headspace National mental health support service for young people under the age of 25
Kids helpline Confidential telephone and online counselling for young people aged 5 to 25 across Australia Ph: 1800 551 800

Download the list here.