Shelter from the storm: Learning from the rise in domestic and family violence during COVID-19

In mid-2020, in response to the pandemic, emergency ‘surge funding’ from the Paul Ramsay Foundation was provided to 33 women’s shelters across Australia. Depending on the domestic and family violence needs of their communities, shelters allocated the grant across 1-4 ‘surge’ target areas.

The Paul Ramsay Foundation sought to deliver the funding to those they could identify with significant need in a way which would deliver swift outcomes on the ground in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The funding provided by the Paul Ramsay Foundation was deliberately targeted to smaller not-for-profit organisations, in particular women-run, community embedded and trauma-informed shelters that focused on women and children.

This project provided an opportunity for the Foundation to put a microscope over the sector at a time of great strain to learn from the people at the coalface about the challenges they face in undertaking the important work they do for our community.

The findings presented in the ‘Shelter from the storm’ report are the aggregated data from the surveys, summarised into key areas of significance. The report does not seek to compare the survey results to wider data points or research as a primary aim, and the scope is limited by questions based on what services are currently funded rather than areas of desired future funding.