• Services say the lockdown measures are placing women at increased risk. (PA Wire)Source: PA Wire
Djirra, an organisation that helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children affected by domestic violence welcomes the Victorian Government investment into their services.
Bernadette Clarke

16 Apr 2020 - 4:00 PM  UPDATED 16 Apr 2020 - 4:00 PM

Djirra, an organisation that provides support to Aboriginal women and children affected by domestic violence has heightened concerns about the wellbeing of mob amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisation believes that enforced social isolation has increased exposure to violence putting Aboriginal women and children’s lives at risk.

Since the virus outbreak, CEO OF Djirra, Antoinette Braybrook said the organisation has been campaigning for extra government assistance.

“The pandemic must not hide the fact that violence against Aboriginal women and their children was already at epidemic levels before COVID-19 even appeared and it is getting worse.”

“Djirra has not seen an increase in calls for family violence legal support, but we have seen an increase in requests for counselling. We expect that calls to Djirra will increase dramatically in coming weeks with more referrals from police, other services and family and friends.”

Recently, the Victorian Government made an investment of over $40 million in crisis accommodation and specialist services for people suffering or at risk of domestic violence.

The package includes targeted funding for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations like Djirra who welcome the investment during this unprecedented time.

Due to the coronavirus, Djirra has had to close their doors in Melbourne and the regions however, the organisation has ensured that they are adapting to the current climate in order to help women and children in need.

“We are continually reviewing the way we provide services and support to adapt to this volatile environment – one which puts Aboriginal women and their children at greater risk of violence”

“Djirra is here for Aboriginal women and children and especially those in our communities in Victoria who experience family violence,” said Ms Braybrook.

The organisation currently has a free-to-dial number on 1800 105 503.