Domestic Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In March and April of last year, it became necessary to impose strict stay-at-home orders help contain the spread of the coronavirus. A team of sociologist led by Alex R. Piquero of the University of Miami, conducted a study featuring a systematic review of multiple studies on domestic violence incidents. They compared the number of incidents before lockdown versus the number of incidents after lockdown restrictions were put in place.
What They Found
- Based on their review of twelve studies in the United States, most of which were comprised of data from multiple cities, they documented that domestic violence incidents increased 8.1% after pandemic-related lockdown orders were imposed.
- These studies covered data from crime reports, emergency hotline registries, hospital and health records, and other administrative documentation. This differed from earlier studies that relied exclusively on police calls for service.
- Specific factors responsible for driving the increase are unclear, but it is believed that the lockdowns and pandemic-related economic impacts likely intensified factors that are typically associated with potential domestic violence causes. This includes influences such as:
- Increased unemployment, especially for male head-of-household families
- The stress to provide childcare and homeschooling with limited options for assistance
- New or increased financial insecurity
- Negative coping strategies that were engaged in or worsened due to both financial and emotional stress of quarantine. This includes alcohol and substance abuse
- Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic left parents and children isolated in their homes thereby cutting families off from friends, neighbors, co-workers, support services and others who might have reported signs of abuse and violence. and who could have potentially helped mitigate or intervene when domestic abuse incidents occurred.
Download the entire report HERE.
A separate report from the National Commission Criminal Justice (CCJ) showed that there was a 9.7% increase in domestic violence calls for service during March and April, that started even before state-level stay-at-home mandates began. Extrapolating that study nationally, the researchers estimated that there were approximately 1,330 more domestic violence calls for service per day across the U.S. during the time period. In Solano County, the incidents of domestic violence increased over 200% during the pandemic.
Help is Here
These factors were the driving force behind the establishment of VEST, the Victims Empowerment Support Team. We understand the immediate and longer term impacts on domestic abuse and sexual assault that spawned from the pandemic. We want you to know there is someone to turn to for pandemic related or other domestic violence concerns. We want you to know that Help is Here.
To make a tangible step to help in the fight against domestic violence, CLICK HERE to donate.