Responding to Queensland’s ‘shadow pandemic’ during the period of COVID-19 restrictions: practitioner views on the nature of and responses to violence against women

This Report presents the findings from two surveys conducted by the Queensland Domestic Violence Services Networkover a ten-day period in April (15 April to 24 April) and a two-week period in May 2020 (8 May to 22 May). The surveys sought to capture the professional views and experiences of practitioners responding to women experiencing violence during the period of COVID-19 restrictions in Queensland, Australia. Data collection for the Second Survey occurred during the Stage 1 easing of restrictions which began on 15 May, 2020.


The findings mirror and lend further support to Victorian research published in early June (Pfitzner, Fitz-Gibbon and True, 2020), and contribute to a growing evidence base in Australia and elsewhere which documents the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and children’s safety, freedom from violence and help-seeking capabilities (see also Piquero et al., 2020; True, Davies and Stone, 2020). The Report also draws further attention to the innovations that have been required of practitioners responding to women experiencing violence during this period and the need to ensure that additional resources are devoted to supporting this work during the easing of restrictions and Australia’s recovery from the pandemic. In the final section of the Report we discuss the funding and resource implications of these findings.