Regrettably, it is predicted that there will be a rise in domestic violence during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is an unintended consequence of families being kept home, stressed and potentially out of employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also an unintended consequence for people living in already abusive homes, as they are having to spend more time with their abuser - and thus be at a heightened risk of further abuse.
The key message is that if you are feeling unsafe and are being subjected to physical, emotional or psychological abuse during the lockdown period, you can still get help. Your first port if there is an immediate safety risk is to call the Police on 111.
Despite the nationwide lockdown, the Family Court is continuing to operate and deal with urgent matters, given it is considered an essential service. The Family Court will continue to deal with all matters concerning personal safety and the wellbeing of children, including proceedings relating to family violence, and care and protection matters.
We are able to assist with applications for protection orders and putting you in contact with appropriate services that can provide additional support such as alternative accommodation during this lockdown period. Shine, Women’s Refuge and other services that deal with victims of family harm and sexual violence have been categorised as essential services and will be available to assist. You do not need to suffer during the lockdown period.
If you, your family, your neighbour or your friend have any concerns or queries regarding domestic violence, please contact Joshua Shaw
or Courtney Donaldson
Quick exit: https://www.stuff.co.nz/
Covering tracks: http://www.areyouok.org.nz/cover-my-tracks
Other support: https://www.justice.govt.nz/family/family-violence/get-help/
Wynn Williams is a member of SCG Legal, a global network of more than 110 independent law firms with both legal and public policy practices serving businesses in all 50 U.S. state capital cities and the District of Columbia, as well as capital cities and major commercial centers in more than 50 countries. SCG Legal has developed a COVID-19 Global Resource Center, which is focused on up-to-date legal and public policy developments from more than 25 different countries and most U.S. States. To access it, visit scglegal.com/coronavirus-resources.