Covid isolation linked to increased domestic violence

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Depression

While Covid-19 related lockdowns may have decreased the spread of a deadly virus, they appear to have created an environment for increased domestic violence, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal American Behavioral Scientist, indicates that 39 per cent respondents reported having experienced violence in their relationship and 74 per cent of those people were women.

“The pandemic, like other kinds of disasters, exacerbates the social and livelihood stresses and circumstances that we know lead to intimate partner violence,” said lead researcher Clare Cannon from the University of California – Davis.

According to the researcher, the extra stress can also cause mental health issues, increasing individuals’ perceived stress and reactions to stress through violence and other means.

For the study, the team involved 374 participants who completed an online survey about previous disaster experience, perceived stress, their current situation as it relates to Covid-19, if they experienced intimate partner violence, and what their personal and household demographics were.

Respondents, whose average age was 47, were asked about how Covid-19 had affected them financially and otherwise.

The researchers also found that 10 per cent of the sample reported experiencing intimate partner violence, the people that had experienced that violence reported more stress than the segment of the sample that had not experienced it.

Furthermore, the results show that as perceived stress increased, participants were more likely to end up as victims of violence.

Intimate partner violence is defined as physical, emotional, psychological or economic abuse and stalking or sexual harm by a current or former partner or spouse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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