When Home is Where the Violence Is - The Pandemic Paradox
This webinar was delivered on Monday 23rd November 2020. It was co-hosted by Corinne Remedios (Hong Kong) and Geoff Wilson (Australia) and co-moderated by Malathi Das (Singapore) and The Hon Diana Bryant (Australia). The panel of speakers were Corinna Lim (Singapore), Ayako Ikeda (Japan), Anne Scully-Johnson (Hong Kong), Artika Singh (Fiji) and Det/Supt Paula Hudson (Australia)
As the COVID-19 virus continued to spread worldwide, it introduced multiple new stresses, including physical and psychological health risks, isolation and loneliness, the closure of schools and businesses, economic vulnerability and job losses. Around the world, as communities went into lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, the mass efforts to save lives put adults in abusive relationships and their children more at risk. Home is not always a safe place to live for adults and children living in situations of domestic and familial violence. In fact, home is often the space where physical, psychological and sexual abuse occurs. This is because home can be a place where dynamics of power can be distorted and subverted by those who abuse, often without scrutiny from anyone “outside” the couple, or the family unit. In the COVID‐19 crisis, the exhortation to “stay at home” therefore had major implications for adults and children already living with someone who is abusive or controlling. Strict restrictions on movement shut off avenues of escape, help‐seeking and ways of coping for victim–survivors. The pandemic created a paradox as regards staying safe at home and was one to which we should all pay attention. It is by being aware of and, where possible, reaching out to those who may be affected by domestic violence that we can support one another, whether in our personal or professional lives. This joint webinar saw a multi-disciplinary panel comprising lawyers, social workers and law enforcement in a discussion about the issues and possible solutions both through the courts and through the community.
This webinar was delivered in collaboration with LAWASIA and World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights.