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COVID-19 does not cause family and sexual violence. However, the risk, severity and frequency of family and sexual violence may increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public health measures introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, isolation and quarantine, means families may be at home with someone who chooses to use violence.

Isolation, financial insecurity, stress, concern, family disruptions, changes to roles and routines may compound or increase the risk, severity and frequency of violence; however, they are not the cause of family and sexual violence.

Family and sexual violence services remain open and available to provide support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Family and Sexual Violence and COVID-19

A key priority for the Government is ensuring support for Tasmanians that feel unsafe in their home.

On 26 March 2020, the Tasmanian Government announced a social and economic support package to help vulnerable Tasmanians and the community deal with the impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

This included $2.7 million for family and sexual violence initiatives, including:

  • $1.9 million for Safe at Home, Tasmania’s whole-of-government integrated criminal justice response to family violence, including additional funding for the Family Violence Counselling and Support Service; the Safe at Home Coordination Unit; Court Support and Liaison Service; and specialist family violence police prosecution services.
  • $310,000 to fund community-based specialist family violence support services to increase their operational capacity to deliver support.
  • $260,000 to increase the Rapid Rehousing pool by an additional 20 properties.
  • $100,000 to establish flexible support packages.
  • $100,000 for a family violence primary prevention awareness raising campaign.
  • Funding for women’s shelters to purchase entertainment and learning items for children during social isolation.

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