08 Apr Coronavirus Safety IN Your Home
The COVID-19 crisis has changed almost every aspect of life for everyone, but if you are experiencing family violence it may be more difficult for you to stay safe inside your home.
Here are some early warning signs of abuse:
- Limits your contact with others by making you feel guilty for reaching out to them
- Speaks negatively about your friends/family and discourages you from connecting with them
- Throws or breaks things around the house
- Monitors your moves, phonecalls, internet use
- Is moody in one moment and then perfectly caring the next
- Restricts your access to finances
- Refuses to take responsibility and often blames you for negative events in the relationship
- Demands sex
- Yells at you and/or threatens you
- Physically intimidates or frightens you
- Criticizes many aspects of you so that you often feel down about yourself
There are many resources and support services out there to help you, including emergency accommodation through SafeSteps – click here for more info.
Here are some strategies to stay safe:
- REMOVE YOURSELF. The most important thing you can do is to keep yourself and your children safe by physically removing yourselves from the dangerous situation – even if that means breaking the social distancing rules, by going to a friend’s, relative’s, or neighbour’s house. Your safety is an essential reason to travel.
- CREATE A SAFETY PLAN. When will it be safe to leave? Can you wait until your partner is asleep or leaves for an errand? Can you make a phone call in the bathroom with the shower on? Can you make a plausible excuse to leave the house, such as buying groceries? Can you keep spare keys in a safe place? Do you know where your local police station is? Plan and practice how and when it will be safe to leave. Hide a small getaway bag with a phone charger, keys, money, and your wallet.
- CALL 000. If you are unable to physically leave, call the police at 000 and explain your situation.
- CALL SAFESTEPS at 1800 015 188. Speak to a family violence response counsellor any time, day or night, 24/7.
- EMAIL SAFESTEPS at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot call, email. A family violence crisis specialist will reply to your email as soon as possible.
- CALL 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732. Speak to a crisis counsellor for domestic violence or sexual assault any time, day or night, 24/7.
- CHAT ONLINE WITH 1800RESPECT crisis counsellors. If you cannot call or email, try chatting online with a crisis counsellor, any time, day or night, 24/7.
- DOWNLOAD THE DAISY APP here. It’s a free app which provides information about accessing local domestic violence support services and includes safety features for people using it.
Here are a few other articles which provide additional information on maintaining your safety during Australia’s Coronavirus lockdown:
Know that you have the right to be free from experiencing emotional, physical, or sexual abuse.