COVID-19 – Our continued support to you
Emma House is continuing to deliver essential services to women and children who are experiencing family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to COVID-19 and the increasing impact on our community, Emma House is changing the way we provide family violence services. These changes are based on advice provided by the Department of Health & Human Services, the Victorian and Federal Governments and health experts. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our staff, clients and the wider community, and to reducing the risk of COVID-19.
Our Services are still available. While our preference is not to undertake face to face assistance, women and children who require our service can still present to the office in an emergency situation. Our staff continue to innovate to provide support via a number of different means such as telephone, video link and email. We will also continue to provide material aid as needed with strict social distancing precautions.
If you have any enquiries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1800 366 238
For the latest information on COVID-19 in Victoria, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.
If you have general questions about coronavirus, call the information hotline on 1800 020 080.
As we are all being asked to stay at home, we know that’s not always the safest place for women and children, who may be spending more time behind closed doors with their abuser.
Not only are they doing this, but contact with their support networks may have become significantly restricted. While our services are being delivered differently, we are still here – so women know they can get the support they need, not only to be safe from a global pandemic, but also the crisis that is domestic violence. Our commitment to gender and social equality in a violence free world has not changed.
As we respond during the current COVID-19 crisis, the most important message is for women to know that help is still available. They are not alone – and they should not carry the burden to protect themselves and remain safe.
Changes Emma House have made to how we deliver your services:
Where possible, family violence support will be provided by telephone, video link, or email. While our services are still available, it will be in a reduced capacity.
We still have an on-site service delivery team, and some staff will be working from home. There will be no face to face appointments and no direct service available to people on site, however we are carefully monitoring demand.
It is expected that for the next few months all non-essential work will be delivered via telephone or other technology, postponed or cancelled. This includes all partnerships and collaborations, meetings, training, forums and the like.
Questions you may have:
Can I leave my house during COVID-19 restrictions if I am unsafe?
Yes: The Victorian government says people can leave their homes if there is family violence, or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. You can find out the latest information on COVID-19 at the Department of Health and Human Services website here
How can I safely call for help if I am at home with my abuser?
The Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre is Victoria’s 24-hour family violence response service. The centre has put together some helpful information on how to safely make calls for help, if you are isolated at home with your abuser. You can visit the Safe Steps website here
- Creating a plausible reason to leave the house, such as getting petrol, groceries or medication and call while you are out. Unless you are in medical quarantine because you are sick, you are allowed to leave your house for these essential items, even under lockdown
- Waiting for the perpetrator to fall asleep before calling
- Calling from a room with an exit, a door that locks, that does not contain knives or other weapons
- Calling from the bathroom while the shower is running
What do I do if I need to take out an intervention order or go to court?
The Magistrate’s Court of Victoria has issued this statement in relation to COVID-19: Click here.
The Emma House Community Legal Service is still operating to provide support for people experiencing family violence.
If you are in an emergency, you should phone 000.
Helpful Resources available: