* Originally posted by ABC NEWS
The State Government is launching a new campaign to remind people to call out family violence when they see or hear it amid fears that incidents are going unreported during coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
The Respect Each Other: Call It Out campaign will launch on Monday to remind victims help is available and to let bystanders know they can call out family violence even with physical-distancing restrictions in place.
Between March and April 2020, 14 per cent of family violence calls to Victoria Police were attributed to circumstances surrounding the coronavirus.
"We understand social isolation and physical distancing is extremely difficult for families but we want to send a clear message that's not an excuse for family violence," Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams told the ABC.
The campaign will launch across metropolitan, regional and rural television, radio and Spotify, as well as major digital and social media channels from next week. It will also run in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Italian, and Vietnamese on some channels.
A woman holds her head in her hands
Between March and April 2020, 14 per cent of family violence calls to Victoria Police were directly attributed to circumstances surrounding the coronavirus.(ABC News: Margaret Burin)
"It will provide information about where people can go to if they are experiencing family violence and for people who may witness it," Ms Willaims said.
"We are all at home and in closer proximity to our neighbours for longer periods than usual so people will be overhearing incidents. We are making it clear there are things that can be done."
The State Government announced a multi-million-dollar package last month for crisis accommodation and specialist services for people suffering or at risk of family violence.
It included $20 million for short-term accommodation for family violence victims who do not feel safe isolating or recovering from coronavirus at home and another $20.2 million to help Victorian family violence services meet the expected increase in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
"At this point, the data we have on family violence is up and down. We are still tracking it but there hasn't been a sharp spike across the board yet," Ms Williams said.
"But we are bracing ourselves for that. The international experience shows us we should get a spike and we are equipping our organisations for when that happens."
She said calls to services such as Safe Steps and 1800RESPECT were "trending upwards and we're keeping a close eye on it".
To see the full article, visit: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-09/victoria-family-violence-cases-double-at-melbourne-hospital/12227594