COVID-19 and its impact on intimate partner violence The intersection of health, justice, and the path forward

Date of Review: March, 2021

Increases in IPV during COVID-19, therefore, are thought to be related to several factors . First, for families already experiencing IPV in the home, COVID-19 related stressors (e.g. fear of contagion, job loss, housing instability, etc.) can increase tensions and place greater strains on already fragile relationships. Second, statewide COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandates also increase stress within the household as families struggle to adapt to living all aspects of their lives under one roof. Third, social distancing measures may further serve to isolate victims, increase the amount of time they spend with their abuser, and decrease their ability to find safe and viable outlets for what they are experiencing at home – all of which can increase the incidence and severity of abuse, which in turn raises victims’ risk for injury. PV rates will likely continue on the same trajectory as the country continues grappling with public health policies and increased concern over the impact of safely moving forward during COVID-19. This presents a unique, yet challenging, opportunity for those involved in IPV service provision as they navigate the needs of victims and the potential for decreased resources. —Ashley Darcy Mahoney, PhD, NNP-BC, FAAN

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