Domestic violence calls increase under lockdown but could surge coming out?

There were reports of an increase in domestic violence when the level 4 lockdown came into effect last month, and also reports that they had settled back to ‘normal’ levels. But this seems to be a changing story.

RNZ: Domestic violence calls to police increase in lockdown

Family harm is on the rise as women find it harder to escape their abusers during Covid-19 restrictions.

Police figures comparing the week before the lockdown show a 22 percent increase in investigations.

Mirroring the police figures are those from Women’s Refuge, showing a 20 percent increase in calls related to domestic violence.

Women’s Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury said it had not yet seen the sorts of horror stories that were being reported overseas and the worst could be yet to come.

“We haven’t seen the crazy stuff like everyone feared was going to happen,” Jury said.

She said that initial spike had now settled but expected a move to level 2 lockdown to bring a second surge in women coming forward.

But even this new story is confusing.

I don’t know why a surge is expected after relaxing the lockdown, when calls increased going into lockdown and then settled.

Obviously whatever is happening we have an awful level of domestic violence in New Zealand, and it is a problem for men as well as women and children.

She is Not your Rehab, a global movement helping men heal from their past trauma, founder Matt Brown has been posting letters seeking advice from men in lockdown and teaching them to process their anger, instead of lashing out.

He has been overwhelmed by the number of men asking for help during the lockdown, including from children who are living in abusive homes.

Even that is confusing but appears to refer to men wanting help for dealing with their violent behaviour.

While levels of domestic violence remain a real issue, levels of public violence have presumably dropped under lockdown.

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15 Comments

  1. Duker

     /  1st May 2020

    RNZ keep hiding the ‘hiding the decline’ in this topic. Its the Police who record the calls and they have said it dropped back.
    I get it that ‘news’ is something new but beatups is also something journos are addicted to as they ‘juice up’ and ongoing story.
    This is an area that hardly needs juicing up for click harvesting reasons

    Reply
  2. David

     /  1st May 2020

    With the government still pursuing a very draconian and unnecessary severe lockdown that will result in more job losses in excess of the commensurate benefit to a country that has already clearly controlled this virus the economic downturn will see a surge in domestic violence.
    Money troubles is one of the top causes of domestic stress. Politics though means the caring government can gain kudos by announcing more funds to womens refuge and plaudits from the unaffected for keeping the country locked down. We are at the point where its votes votes votes with UMR polling last week about the lockdown for the Labour Party.

    Reply
  3. Corky

     /  1st May 2020

    ”I don’t know why a surge is expected after relaxing the lockdown, when calls increased going into lockdown and then settled.”

    My guess is the drug supply lines will open up again, and people will over compensate on social boozing binges. There is also the reality of job losses, possible job losses and uncertainty hanging over many. People without coping skills are going to need a punching bag…the missus.

    Reply
    • David

       /  1st May 2020

      Or the Mr, apparently up to 40% of domestic violence recipients are men.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  1st May 2020

        True..there are some hard shelias out there.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  1st May 2020

        Yes, although one is hard-pressed to find that fact getting much attention in the seemingly now female-dominated mainstream online, print & tv media.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  1st May 2020

        More like 10-15% of perpetrators
        If the rates for men were the same as women we ‘wouldnt have a problem’
        Male victims may be higher rates because they can assaulted by other men in the household.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  1st May 2020

          Dunno. Might check into it further sometime. I do vaguely recall reading one article (or report in the last couple of years that touched on the comparative numbers of men & women suffering partner abuse reported in surveys & it put it at around 50/50 – I think with the observation that in many cases the men suffer psychological abuse more often than actual physical attack.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  1st May 2020

            *) (after report)

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  1st May 2020

            I would guess that the proportion of psychological abuse is similar for men and women but probably men are better able to defend themselves against attempts at physical abuse which doesn’t mean they won’t be made – just not reported, effective or so damaging.

            Reply
          • David

             /  1st May 2020

            I was clocked by a woman once, fair old swing she took and got me right in the side of the head but women dont punch that hard and men have thicker skulls so I wasnt particularly fazed by it, nutty thing she was.
            Certainly wouldnt inform plod or expect them to take any notice and I am not the only bloke I know that has been on the receiving end of a bit of female craziness.

            Reply
            • Had you reported it, YOU would have been taken away and not let back in the house.

            • The reason for the expected surge may be that the people who have been forced by our kind PM to stay in the same house as their abuser will be able to leave it and seek help. If I was unable to leave an abusive relationship by law, I might well not risk making my abuser angry by calling the police. What can the abuse victim do ? It’s been illegal to move to another house.

              Telling a violent, abusive person to be kind will have little effect, I fear. It’s a very naive slogan,

            • Gezza

               /  1st May 2020

              Certainly wasted on a select few of our more sociopathic posters here.

            • Indeed.

              I have read that there’s as much female-male violence as male-female, but that men don’t report it for various reasons. One is that they are likely to lose the children who will be left with a violent parent, another is pride.

              Greg Newbold said that a woman who’s been given a blacy eye by a man is an object of pity, a man with a black eye from a woman is an object of derision (or words to that effect)

              When I had two black eyes and a gashed face from an accident, I saw the way people hastily looked away and knew what they were thinking !

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