Adapting services during COVID-19: Experiences of domestic violence practitioners - Webinar


Tuesday 13 April 2021


6-7pm, NZST (4-5pm, AEST)


Online (Australia based)

Organised by

UNSW Social Policy Research Centre



COVID-19 changed patterns of domestic and family violence, presented new barriers to service use, and prompted rapid changes in models of service delivery and client engagement.

In this presentation the presenters firstly discuss how stay-at-home orders and limits to social interaction heightened the risks of intimate partner violence, especially coercive control. Second, they examine practitioners’ experiences of rapidly adjusting service models as physical distancing requirements triggered expanded use of phone, email, video calls and messaging, and many face-to-face interventions temporarily ceased. Many found technology-mediated service delivery improved accessibility and efficiency, but were concerned about assessing risk without face-to-face contact, and were unsure whether new service modalities would meet the needs of all client groups and reflect best practice. Findings attest to practitioners' mixed experiences of service innovation and change through this period, underlining the importance of monitoring adaptations to develop evidence of good practice in combining remote and face-to-face service options.


  • kylie valentine, Deputy Director of the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre
  • Natasha Cortis, Associate Professor, UNSW Social Policy Research Centre
  • Ciara Smyth, Senior Research Fellow, UNSW Social Policy Research Centre.
  • Delia Donovan, Chief Executive Officer, Domestic Violence NSW
  • Jan Breckenridge, Professor and Head of the UNSW School of Social Sciences, and the Co-Convener of the UNSW Gendered Violence Research Network