Preventing and responding to family, whānau and sexual violence during COVID-19

Experience in New Zealand and internationally has shown that family violence (including intimate partner violence, child abuse and elder abuse) and sexual violence can escalate during and after large-scale disasters or crises. The current COVID-19 pandemic also brings specific risks. Self-isolation can mean the risk of more severe violence from a partner, family member or other household member. Victims may also experience challenges to connecting with supportive people or accessing help in usual ways. 

Specialist family violence and sexual violence services, NGOs, communities and government agencies are working together to provide information and services. Family violence and sexual violence services are essential services and are always available, even if services need to be delivered in different ways. It is okay to ask for help if you or someone else is in danger. Helplines are available. Talk to friends, whānau and neighbours if you need support, or to see if they need help. If you think someone is in immediate danger of being harmed or may harm themselves, call the Police on 111. 

Below find links to information, research and resources to support staff, communities and organisations working in family and sexual violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are continuing to add new research, reports, guides and policies related to COVID-19 and violence to our library. To find these resources, see our library quick topic search on COVID-19.

Te Whare Māori

Information and resources for whānau, communities and kaupapa Māori services


Understanding the impacts of COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions: Part 1


Addressing the impacts of COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions: Part 2


Updates from government agencies

Key government information relevant to family violence and sexual violence providers

Home office

For family, whānau and sexual violence services

Practice-based information for specialist family, whānau and sexual violence services


For non-specialist services

Information on responding to family violence for non-specialist services

Woman using cell phone in street

For people experiencing abuse

Accessing family violence and sexual violence services, staying safe online and more

For people using abuse

Where you can go for help to change behaviour

For parents

Information for parents affected by violence

Fence with bird

How to help

What to do if you're concerned about a family or whānau member, friend,  neighbour or community member

adult hugging another adult

Advocate and worker wellbeing

Information and resources to support staff and workplaces to address wellbeing during the pandemic