During the COVID-19 pandemic, recent reports have highlighted the impact lockdown measures can have on cases of domestic violence.
UN Secretary General António Guterres has called what we’re seeing around the globe a “horrifying surge” and pressed everyone to remember that “violence is not confined to the battlefield,” but for many “the threat looms largest where they should be safest: in their own homes.”
While domestic violence has been an ongoing issue prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, data has shown a rise in levels of violence during the implementation of lockdown measures.
In Australia, almost one in 10 Australian women in a relationship have experienced domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis according to the Australian Institute of Criminology. Two-thirds of these women stated the attacks started or became worse during the pandemic.
Building on our #ThereIsHelp notification for mental health and suicide prevention and COVID-19, Twitter Australia has now launched a dedicated domestic violence search prompt in partnership with 1800RESPECT (@1800RESPECT), Australia's national support service for sexual assault, domestic, and family violence.
When Australians search keywords associated with domestic violence on Twitter, they will see a notification directing them to confidential support services from 1800RESPECT.
1800RESPECT is a government initiative to combat domestic and gender based violence as part of Australia’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022. Their teams provide counselling services and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing, sexual assault and/or domestic and family violence. These services are also available to family and friends, and frontline workers.
“This partnership will allow us to reach more people impacted by domestic and family violence, that need support. It’s critical that people know that support is available, whatever their situation. The #ThereIsHelp feature shortens the process between looking for support, and finding it, and we thank Twitter for inviting us to partner with them for this initiative.” — 1800RESPECT, General Manager, Paul Moger.
The Australian #ThereIsHelp notification service is part of our work combating domestic violence across the region. The notification is also available through local partnerships in eight APAC countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. We plan to further expand this service in the near future to other countries across the region in the coming months.
Twitter is grateful to our partners for their collaboration in launching this dedicated product feature. We are proud to support their efforts during COVID-19 and beyond.