Lockdowns cause spike in family violence
22 December 2021
COVID lockdowns have resulted in a worrying spike in family-violence incidents across the region.
Independent Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) data released last week shows regional local government areas recorded the biggest percentage increases in family violence-related incidents anywhere in the state over the past year.
Member for Euroa and Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan said Campaspe, Strathbogie and Greater Bendigo areas saw a worrying increase in family violence incidents.
“In percentage terms, the number of incidents in Campaspe over the past year rose by 22.3 per cent. The number of incidents in Strathbogie increased by 20.3 per cent and the number of incidents in Greater Bendigo rose by 17.7 per cent.
“Greater Shepparton also saw a 7.5 per cent increase in family violence-related cases.
“These statistics tell a horrifying story and are a further demonstration of the Andrews Government’s failure to consider the wider impacts of lockdowns.
“Women and children are less safe as a result of the impacts of the pandemic which has worsened the pressure on a system already in crisis.”
Ms Ryan said stay-at-home orders, the curfew and social isolation had placed a heavy burden on Victorian families, with research now revealing the toll on women’s mental health and financial security.
“Not only has there been a worrying increase in family violence over the past 12 months, but statistics from Gender Equity Victoria also show that women accounted for 55 per cent of the job losses during the pandemic, while performing much of the unpaid labour at home and extra educational support for children through remote learning.”
Across Victoria, the state recorded 92,552 family incidents in the year to September 30, 2021, up 2.8 per cent on the previous 12 months.
The number of criminal incidents related to family violence also increased, from 45,447 to 47,607, while the number of children affected by family violence increased by more than 10 per cent.
Victoria recorded 7800 family violence incidents against children in 2021, compared with 7064 in 2020.
Women aged between 20 and 39 were the person affected in more than a third of all incidents in the 12 months to September 30, 2021.