COVID-19 insights series COVID-19 and safety in the home

Published: March 2023

Te Hiringa Mahara has produced a series of short reports during 2022 and 2023 to add our collective understanding of the wellbeing impacts of the pandemic and to provide key insights on wellbeing areas or populations of focus.

COVID-19 and safety in the home

In this report, we show that the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns led to an increase in reports of violence and harm in the home, with some groups particularly impacted.

The report also shows the following:

  • Being cut off from support networks and being trapped in unsafe situations saw violence and controlling behaviour change, increase, and grow more severe
  • Women, children, and young people, particularly those who are Māori, or from the rainbow community, were particularly affected.
  • Digital technology allowed online violence and abuse to be brought directly into people’s homes, but the digital divide made accessing help difficult for some
  • Government and community responses were valuable, but more should be done to empower communities, provide a range of safe accessible supports, and monitor and research family and sexual violence.

To help members of some of Aotearoa New Zealand's communities stay safe and secure in the face of increased likelihood of violence, we call on the government to enhance community involvement in both planning and decision-making processes; to keep equitable access to services and support front of mind; to ensure a range of safe and accessible supports are available when needed; and to engage and check in with service providers and community organisations to understand trends and developments in some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most-at-risk communities.

Read other reports in the Covid-19 insights series