Australia on March 29 reportedly announced a US $100 million boost in funding to tackle domestic violence after support services reported a spike in Coronavirus-related family abuse.
While speaking to an international media outlet, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that there had been a 75 per cent surge in Google searches for help during the nation-wide lockdown. As per reports, several domestic violence charity and women’s support services have also reported a spike in the number of cases.
Morrison reportedly said that the government needs to put resources into supporting people who will be vulnerable and may be vulnerable. While speaking to a media outlet, Women’s safety, a domestic violence charity, said that 10 per cent of workers in the charity organisation had seen an increase in client numbers, with over a third of cases directly linked to the virus outbreak.
Women’s support service called Wayss also reportedly said that police requests for assistance with cases had almost doubled and they also dealt with a form of abuse ‘not experienced before’.
Wayss CEO Liz Thomas reportedly said that the organisation has also seen a case which involves the "perpetrators inviting people into the house where a woman was self-isolating".
She further added that she has also seen half a dozen examples in the past week where perpetrators have actually used COVID-19 as a form of abuse, "telling their partner that they have the virus, therefore they can't leave the house."
In a bid to support telephone services for both domestic violence victims and abusers, Morrison said that AUS $1.1 billion would be spent in health-related services. As per reports, the Australian government is also increasing fund for online mental health services, telephone medical consultations and emergency food relief in response to the global pandemic.
Australia has recently confirmed at least 334 new cases, spiking the total figure of COVID-19 to 3,969, as per the reports. The government has suspended international air travel and sealed the borders in an attempt to stem the spread. It also resolved to pump AUS $105 billion to fuel Canberra's stagnant economy as the nation slowly poised into a global recession after 29 years of economic growth.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg reportedly predicted that the latest AUS $66 billion announced by Prime Minister Morrison will fetch the government and central bank measures to support the economy to at least 10 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), close to AUS $189 billion.
The extraordinary times require extraordinary measures as the world faces a challenge like never seen before, he was quoted saying in a news conference. Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan was reported saying that Rottnest Island, which is a popular tourist destination and former Aboriginal prison site, could be designed into a quarantine zone for the Australians that were reluctant to self-isolate.