The COVID-19 pandemic has raised significant concerns about the “shadow pandemic” of violence against women and children, in particular intimate partner violence (IPV). There is now a large body of research in Australia exploring the effects of the pandemic on violence against women and children, and specifically IPV. The research has indicated that cases being referred to frontline services are more complex, and victims and survivors are experiencing increased barriers to reporting IPV and seeking support.
Building on and contributing to this existing research, Intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey of women in Australia, led by Hayley Boxall and Anthony Morgan at the Australian Institute of Criminology, provides the most comprehensive survey of women’s experiences of IPV during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. The study is based on a survey of 10,000 women in Australia, aged 18 years and over, administered between February and April 2021. In it, women were asked about their experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the last 12 months, as well as their experiences of previous IPV. This report presents findings of Stage 1 of a larger national study, with Stage 2 of the study focusing on the economic insecurity of women experiencing IPV during the pandemic.
The results show that rather than experiencing isolated and discrete forms of IPV, many women were experiencing patterns of ongoing violence and abuse, in the context of coercive control. In particular, the pandemic has coincided with first-time and escalating violence for a significant proportion of women, and many women attributed these changes to factors associated with the pandemic. The study also found that many women had experienced technology-facilitated abuse perpetrated by a partner or former partner.
- List of tables
- List of figures
- Key definitions
- Box 1: Key findings at a glance: Respondents' experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Experiences of physical violence, sexual violence and emotionally abusive, harassing and controlling behaviours among women who have been in a relationship
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intimate partner violence among women who have been in a relationship
- Help-seeking during the pandemic
- COVID-19 in Australia
- Prior research into the impact of COVID-19 on intimate partner violence
- Knowledge gaps
- Current study
- Sampling and weighting
- Survey questions
- Sample characteristics
- Experiences of physical violence
- Experiences of sexual violence
- Experiences of emotionally abusive, harassing and controlling behaviours
- Experiences of coercive control
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intimate partner violence among Australian women
- Help-seeking among women who experienced intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic