Joint Media Release from Minister for Women Senator The Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Families and Social Services Senator The Hon Anne Ruston and Senator The Hon Sarah Henderson
The Morrison Government is rolling out extra measures to ensure people experiencing domestic, family and sexual violence know where to get help during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Help is Here campaign will include advertising across television, digital, social media, radio, magazines and newspapers as well as in shopping centres, hospitals and GP surgeries.
Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, said the campaign had two clear messages that help is here and tough times do not excuse tougher times at home.
“For many weeks, Australians have been heeding the Government’s call to stay at home to control the spread of COVID-19. However, for many women and children, home is not a safe place to be,” Minister Payne said.
“We want all Australians to know, including those at risk of using violence, there is free and confidential help available at all hours, every day.”
The new awareness campaign to promote the two national helplines – 1800RESPECT and MensLine Australia – is part of the Morrison Government’s $150 million Domestic Violence Support Package to help support services meet demand during these unprecedented times.
Minister Ruston said the new campaign directs women and men to 1800RESPECT and MensLine, where they could talk directly and confidentially with trained counsellors via online chat or phone.
“The campaign also delivers the strong message that violence and abuse are never acceptable, no matter the circumstances,” Minister Ruston said.
“Increased stresses at a time like this are known and understandable but they are not an excuse for causing physical or psychological harm.”
Senator Sarah Henderson welcomed the new campaign.
“It’s important that anybody who feels unsafe in their home is able access help,” Senator Henderson said.
“The campaign aims to make sure everybody in regional Victoria is aware of the two national hotlines where they go for support.
“Tough times do not excuse tougher times at home.”
Since the Coronavirus pandemic began more than 15 per cent of contacts for MensLine Australia have been COVID-19 specific while 1800RESPECT has seen an 11 per cent increase in people accessing support when compared with the same time last year.
Further information is available at www.australia.gov.au/dvsupport
These national services are available and accessible to all people located in Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strat Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including those on temporary visas, as well as people with disability.
4 May 2020.