Family violence service Emma House is preparing for incident increases due to people staying home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Executive officer Ruth Isbel said the service was operating and working through new regulation requirements.
"We've got to look after the most vulnerable in our community," Ms Isbel said.
"We haven't seen any slowing down or any reduction in our referrals.
"We're expecting there will be a spike in this period. Research demonstrates that family violence increases after emergency and natural disaster situations and based on this, we're anticipating family violence will also increase during this widespread this community outbreak of COVID-19."
Ms Isbel revealed family violence services in China reported family violence incidents had tripled for the month of February this year compared to February 2019.
"Research indicates family violence incidents could increase anywhere from 30 to 100 per cent," she said.
"That's what we're expecting."
Family violence research indicates the reason for the sharp spikes in incidents surrounding natural disasters and emergencies is the tendency to revert to stricter gender norms; such as men being the protectors and decision makers.
"These rigid gender norms increase likelihood of victim-survivors being at risk of family violence," Ms Isbel said.
"We're also seeing other contributing factors increasing risk such as financial, employment and housing insecurities.
"Families are also spending a sustained period together due to the quarantine.
"You can see environment really increases risk for victim-survivors. We see our crucial work or Emma House, all providers and police as key to be able to deliver a service and responding to incidents."
Emma House workers are still in the Kepler Street office but spread out to maintain the government's strict regulations. Ms Isbel is encouraging people to use their phone service to make contact where possible.
"We will respond and we have strategies," she said.
"Our preference is for phone calls but certainly if only safe option to attend our services then we certainly have strategies in place.
"We are working closely with other family violence to share resources and collaborate around keeping services open and responding over however long this takes."
Intake and risk team leader Sarah Brittain reiterates Ms Isbel's advice and encourages victim-survivors to contact their safety networks.
"When people call and we are happy to do safety plan to plan for this ever-changing environment because this is going to bad," she said.
"Even if people don't want to be engaged, we can give them plans.
We will absolutely provide a full service however that needs to be.Sarah Brittain
Victoria Police western region division two family violence investigation manager Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh said police members were there to help people having difficulties in isolation.
"People being in isolation due to the current pandemic does not stop them from contacting police and reporting family violence," he said.
"We ask them that they do that by telephone, in private, where we can actually provide advice on how we can go about meeting them in a safe environment with personal protection."
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Emma House is a Warrnambool-based not-for-profit service and can be contacted through 1800 EMMADV (1800 366238) or visit emmahouse.org.au/
Safe Steps for women after hours service is available through 188 015 188.
Brophy Family and Youth Services can be contacted on 1300 BROPHY or 03 5561 8888.
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