The COVID-19 gender gap is even wider for the most vulnerable women in society.
While many reports have shown that women have been particularly disadvantaged during the global pandemic through increased caring responsibilities and greater exposure to domestic violence, a Federation University Australia report says that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
For women in contact with the justice system, the restrictions and consequences of COVID-19 increase their chance of re-offending and being further disadvantaged.
The report covers an increase in loneliness, anxiety, mental health concerns and subsequent substance use for women who have had access visits to children in out-of-home care cut off or had restricted access to face-to-face support.
Court closures have meant lengthy waits, while emergency support services for shelter, food and clothing have also been harder to access.
Federation University’s Dr Rachel Hale is among the experts calling for greater investment in community support and alternatives to imprisonment for disadvantaged women.
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