To assist women experiencing family violence, and professionals providing support to migrant and refugee communities during COVID-19 we have created this web-page to help you find;

inTouch will continue to update this page as more resources become available but we need your help. If you or your organisation have a resource you would like to share, please email admin@intouch.org.au.

Current COVID-19 restrictions in plain English (Victoria)

The Victorian government is trying to control and stop the spread of the current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and has therefore placed Victoria under different stages of restrictions.

Mandatory face coverings

No matter where you live, all Victorians must now wear a face covering when they leave home. It is important to understand what these restrictions mean and to help our clients understand them. To access the most up to date information on COVID-19 restrictions click here.

Metropolitan Melbourne – stage 4 ‘stay at home’ restrictions – first step towards ‘COVID normal’

As of 14 September, Melbourne’s stage 4 ‘stay at home’ restrictions will continue but there will be some changes as we move to a new strategy and the FIRST STEP towards ‘COVID normal’.

The curfew is still in place but has been extended to 9pm (from 8pm) to 5am. This means that a person cannot leave their house during this time unless there is an emergency, for permitted work, health, care, or safety reasons.

If you live alone or if you are a single parent of a child under the age of 18, you can now choose ONE person who can visit you. That one person must also choose you, and then you can visit each other. Each of you can only choose one person.

From 5am – 9pm, you can only leave your home for one of the following four reasons:

  • To shop for necessary goods and services
    You can only travel up to 5km from your home and only one person per household can leave home to get necessary goods and services and only once a day (this means you can’t do multiple shopping trips in a day).
  • To exercise
    You must not travel more than 5km from where you live to exercise for a maximum of two hours each day. You can exercise with one other person not from your household such as a friend, family member, or neighbour, or a household can meet outdoors for two hours. If you have children you can’t leave alone at home, you can take them with you.
  • For health, medical and caring purposes
    You can leave home to receive health care or attend medical appointments. You can leave home to care for a sick or elderly relative. If you are providing care for someone you should try to keep 1.5 metres between you when you can. You can leave home to accompany someone for essential medical treatment if you are a parent, guardian or carer. You can take a pet to the vet.
  • To work or for education 
    Only if you can’t work or study from home. If you can work or study from home, you must continue to do so. Only permitted workers can travel to work.

Note: You can still visit an intimate partner. Shared parenting arrangements, both formal and informal, can continue for children. You can leave home if there is an emergency. You can leave home if there is family violence, or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you.

Regional Victoria – ‘stay at home’ restrictions – step two towards COVID normal 

As of 14 September, there will be some changes in regional Victoria as we move to a new strategy and next steps (STEP TWO) to move towards ‘COVID normal’. If you live in regional Victoria there are only four reasons that you can leave home:

  • to shop for food and essential goods or services
  • for health, medical and caring purposes
  • to exercise – there are no limits on how much time you spend exercising outside. Personal training is also permitted as long as it’s outside and there is maximum two people plus the trainer. Outdoor pools and playgrounds are open
  • for work or study, if you can’t do it from home.

Some public gatherings are permitted outdoors with a maximum of five people from two households. Children under the age of 12 are not included in this limit.

If you live alone or if you are a single parent of a child under the age of 18, you can now choose ONE person who can visit you. That one person must also choose you, and then you can visit each other.

We have a duty of care to our clients to ensure that they understand what COVID-19 is, and how to follow the restrictions so they don’t put themselves at risk or don’t get fined. To assist you in discussions with clients we’ve created this printable resource which includes answers to questions on Victoria’s restrictions commonly asked by our clients (as of 11 September).

Click here to download your copy for Metropolitan Melbourne.

Click here to download your copy for regional Victoria. 

For the latest information on COVID-19, see the Victoria State Government’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website here. If you suspect you may have coronavirus you can call the hotline: 1800 675 398 – open 24 hours, 7 days.

If you or your client requires a free interpreter, please call 131 450 (TIS National), then request the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

Key resources for women experiencing family violence during COVID-19

During COVID-19 many women may be at higher risk of experiencing family violence as many services are changing the way they operate, and women are forced to spend more time with the perpetrator of violence due to social distancing, self-isolation and shut-down measures.

Further to this, people who use family violence may also use COVID-19 as a way to control or abuse victim-survivors in different ways. For example they could;

  • Stop or make it hard for victim-survivors to get things they need such as food, medicine, hand sanitizer or cleaning products.
  • Tell victim-survivors things that aren’t true about COVID-19 to control or frighten them.
  • Use COVID-19 as an excuse to control the family’s finances (money).
  • Put victim-survivors at risk by not following social distancing laws from the Victorian Government.
  • Threaten to infect victim-survivors with COVID-19 or to invite people with COVID-19 to visit the home.
  • Threaten or stop victim-survivors and their children from going to the doctor or hide their Medicare card.
  • Say things that aren’t true about the way victim-survivors look after the children, such as blaming them if children ‘misbehave’ or are upset.
  • Isolate victim-survivors or their children in the home by restricting their movement in the house or disabling mobility devices.
  • Keep track of personal communication devices such as mobile phone, email, online messaging.
  • Use COVID-19 to excuse, blame or justify their abusive and violent behavior.
  • An ex-partner may use COVID-19 to try and enter or live in the home.
  • Breach a family violence intervention order.
  • Force victim-survivors to travel on public transport, making them feel unsafe.
  • Tell victim-survivors that family violence organisations are closed or that police won’t help during COVID-19.

Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) have put together some useful advice on how to recognise family violence during COVID-19. Click here to read this information.

A list of key resources to support women at risk of family violence during COVID-19 is included below;

Translated information on COVID-19

inTouch have compiled links to key translated resources to empower the communities we support to access critical information inLanguage. You can also share this information with the clients or communities you assist.

The translated resources can be found on this page with accessible and translated resources for women experiencing family violence.