Originally posted: 18 March 2020
Last updated 3 May
** We will continue to update this post as new information and resources become available. **
The COVID-19 pandemic has us in uncharted territory. Here is some information for Domestic and Family Violence Services to use during the public health crisis.
WESNET has published a number of handouts and resources that may be useful for Domestic and Family Violence Services that are scrambling to find alternatives to face-to-face service delivery and interactions.
This post and the resources have been largely based on the fantastic work of our sister agency in the United States, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and have been adapted under license to the Australian context.
We will continue to update this post as more information and suggestions become available. If you have good resources to share with the sector please contact us.
We urge all services to work hard to flatten the curve by limiting exposure of staff to the virus and adopting technology solutions rather than face-to-face interactions for service delivery. Where it is possible to have staff work from home.
- Preventative precautionary measures should be in place regardless of whether there is anyone who has identified potential exposure. With COVID-19, it is possible that residents or staff have been exposed or are carrying the virus without showing any symptoms.
- At no time should residents be housed in large dormitory-style settings with multiple families/persons to a room. Whenever possible residential housing should provide individual quarters per survivor/family.
- Consider lobbying your government for more emergency and temporary accommodation to accommodate clients separately, especially for those that have been exposed to the virus or where your service is in quarantine due to a resident testing positive to COVID-19.
Provision of services by alternative measures
- DFV services and especially refuges should consider moving as many of their services as possible to mobile, remote or tech-based services.
- We have a handout to help survivors make an informed choice about whether or not it is safe to download the forthcoming Covid-19 Tracking App.
- Other handouts from our Technology Safety for Agencies series that may be useful include: