Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Victoria's family violence primary prevention workforce

Building the evidence to support Victoria’s primary prevention workforce.
Commissioned by Respect Victoria
Conducted by The Gender and Disaster Pod
Date December 2020

This action research aimed to gain an understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the primary prevention workforce.

The research was carried out between June and August 2020, during the first round of coronavirus restrictions in Victoria. Researchers interviewed women working in the primary prevention of family violence, and investigated the impact that the pandemic and its restrictions was having both on the workforce as well as those they support.

With noted increases in reports of family violence during the pandemic, and most Victorians experiencing added pressures to their lives, the impact was significant.

One participant said:

I’ve just been working around the clock. Work is home… and that’s a bit of a challenge too. I go from the kitchen to the office.

Key findings

The report found that:

  • Practitioners working on the prevention of violence against women were often directed away from their core work to assist in response duties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Practitioners experienced significant difficulties during the pandemic, as they juggled work as well as increased domestic duties like childcare and home-schooling
  • Resources and focus were shifted from preventing violence against women, to responding to those experiencing violence.

Full report