Calls to Australia's domestic violence hotline surged at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and have remained higher than usual ever since.
Demand for 1800 RESPECT has fluctuated over the past six months, but Liz Hefren-Webb from the Department of Social Services said the overall call pattern was clear.
"There has definitely been an increase," she told a parliamentary inquiry on Monday.
Patterns of violence against women have varied across the country throughout the crisis.
Some areas have experienced a clear increase in demand for frontline services.
But in other parts of the country - such as remote Northern Territory communities, which have been locked down throughout the pandemic - reports of violence have declined.
Ms Hefren-Webb said it was hard to interpret this drop in demand.
"The pattern is highly variable and we don't know if women are delaying reporting in some cases," she said.
"What we've been anxious to ensure is that wherever possible women have the help they need, the support they need, they have an avenue and someone to talk to, and an opportunity to leave if that's what they need to do."
The Commonwealth has given states and territories $130 million over the past six months to supplement frontline services focused on violence against women.
Women's safety ministers from each jurisdiction will report back in November about how the money has been spent and highlight the areas of greatest demand.
The committee investigating family, domestic and sexual violence heard several troubling statistics.
Every two minutes in Australia, police are called to a domestic and family violence matter.
Every day, 12 women are hospitalised due to domestic and family violence.
Every nine days, a woman is killed by her current or former partner.
The prevalence of violence against women has remained relatively stable over several years but there is one deeply troubling pattern.
"Putting aside COVID, the trend for violence against women is stable overall, the trend for sexual violence is increasing," Ms Hefren-Webb said.
Ordinarily, Australian government officials tasked with reducing violence against women focus on prevention campaigns.
Their attention has swung towards helping women flee domestic violence during coronavirus lockdowns.
1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
Lifeline 13 11 14
Australian Associated Press