Counsellors address domestic violence spike during pandemic
The pressures of COVID-19 have led to a rise in incidents of violence against women and children.
Carinity’s counselling services have witnessed an increase in people seeking support during the pandemic, according to Carinity Community Services State Manager, Janelle Heyse.
“The pandemic has led to a rise in domestic and family violence perpetrated against women and children and in the number of complexities faced by these vulnerable people,” Janelle said.
“Overall, Carinity has observed families experiencing increased vulnerability, psychological distress and isolation, which compounds their existing trauma.”
Carinity services which offer counselling for children and young people have supported those impacted by domestic violence and trauma during the pandemic.
During the 18 months of the pandemic, Carinity Talera has reported a 30 per cent increase in the delivery of therapeutic support for children and young people impacted by incidents of violence.
In Rockhampton, Carinity Wahroonga has provided therapy for children affected by family and domestic violence through its Child Protection Program.
“Families have benefitted from therapeutic support that has addressed their increased need for physical and emotional safety and stability, especially given this has been further compromised through the increased complexities faced during the pandemic,” Janelle said.
“Given that mothers are highly motivated to seek therapeutic support for their children, our programs also provide an opportunity to engage women who have not previously accessed the service system, increasing safety for their families.”
Carinity Youth and Families Narangba has also witnessed an increase in clients with anxiety and mental health issues, sometimes exacerbated by the COVID situation.
“Counselling assists those who have experienced domestic and family violence to cope with challenging situations and make positive changes in their lives,” Janelle said.