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Full report: Monitoring changes in domestic violence in the wake of COVID-19 social isolation measures
Release date: Embargo: 10:30am, Thursday 23 April 2020
Domestic violence assaults recorded by police did
not increase in March 2020. This is
despite social distancing measures commencing halfway through that month.
Concerns have been raised that social isolation
strategies implemented to address the COVID-19 pandemic may inadvertently
increase the incidence of domestic violence.
The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research have compiled preliminary
statistics to monitor any early signs of an increase in domestic violence.
Domestic violence assaults reported to or detected
by NSW Police in March 2020 were consistent with those from the same period in
2019 (2,678 in March 2020 versus 2,632 in March 2019).
It is possible that domestic violence
increased in March 2020 but victims were unable to report due to home
confinement with their perpetrator. While murder and grievous bodily harm are
infrequent they are serious enough that we expect they will come to police
attention regardless of victim willingness to report. Neither of these offences
rose in March 2020.
Commenting on the findings, Jackie Fitzgerald,
Executive Director at the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research noted
that the statistics only capture the first two weeks of social distancing
measures. “These data reflect the early
days of social isolation measures and the situation could well change as time
goes on. We will continue to closely monitor changes in domestic violence
through a range of data sources.”
Further enquiries: Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director 02 8346 1100 or 0423 139 687
Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au