Research into disasters suggests that people are at greater risk of experiencing family violence during periods of crisis, such as the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With this in mind, member organisation Good Samaritan Inn, which provides short-term accommodation for women and children escaping family violence and homelessness, has launched its 2020 Winter Appeal.
Writing about the current situation, Good Samaritan Inn says, "The impacts of COVID-19 have created a ‘perfect storm’ for those experiencing family violence and homelessness, particularly for those women and children with no permanent accommodation. Increased isolation, remote support and assistance, lack of privacy to access the telephone or internet, children being home-schooled, and loss of income are the ingredients for dreadful outcomes for the women and families we seek to support.
“Research has found that there is often a spike in violence against women during major crises and disasters – which have many similar features to the current situation with the devastating spread of COVID-19. Situations of heightened stress and panic, potential family disruption, social isolation, increased financial pressures, and disruption to people’s usual roles can all compound or exacerbate the underlying conditions that lead to violence.” (www.ourwatch.org.au)
Throughout the heath crisis, Good Samaritan Inn has been able to remain open and offer 24/7 crisis supported accommodation to women and families. Staff have worked hard to meet increasingly complex needs and requirements whilst working within government restrictions and strict hygiene protocols.
"Good Samaritan Inn has continued to respond with skill, understanding and professionalism to a wide range of guests from diverse backgrounds. We have continued to provide services such as counselling (face to face and via phone), case management support, material aid and employment support."
MAKE A DONATION
All donations received, whether large or small, make a difference to the lives of women and children experiencing family violence and or homelessness. With your support this winter more women, young people and children will be able to access Good Samaritan Inn's services and much needed essential items that are provided to its guests. Donations will go towards practical support such as essential groceries, warm winter coats and jackets, toiletry packs and safe accommodation.
Good Samaritan Inn also continue to improve its crisis accommodation facility with upgrades to improve accessibility, safety and comfort. Your financial support will support these upgrades and allow more women and families to access our service.
TIP SHEET: FAMILY VIOLENCE WARNING SIGNS
Now more than ever, it is crucial that those working in front-line essential services, who still have contact with members of the community, know how to recognise family violence and respond appropriately. This knowledge could save someone’s life.
Developed by the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria for essential workers, this two-page tip sheet clearly and concisely lays out the warning signs or indicators which may suggest someone is experiencing family violence. It also provides practical advice on what to do if you suspect someone is experiencing abuse, including where you can refer them for specialist help and support.