COVID-19: Reducing the risk of infection might increase the risk of intimate partner violence
Date of Review: March, 2021
van Gelder N, Peterman A, Potts A, O’Donnell M, Thompson K, Shah N, Oertelt-Prigione S; Gender and COVID-19 working group. COVID-19: Reducing the risk of infection might increase the risk of intimate partner violence. EClinicalMedicine. 2020 Apr 11;21:100348. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100348. PMID: 32292900; PMCID: PMC7151425.
A thoughtful commentary written in the early phase of the pandemic; the authors outline the social, economic and psychological consequences of social distancing and isolation on personal and collective vulnerabilities for IPV, along with limiting accessible and familiar support options and potential increase of IPV incidence and prevalence. The authors call for immediate action to mitigate against increases in IPV and propose a set of recommendations: 1. Increase physicians’ and other frontline healthcare worker’s awareness of the heightened risk of IPV during quarantine and support their ability to safely offer information and referral; 2. Increase public awareness and understanding for the increased risk of IPV during quarantine and how to safely access support services; 3. Increase funding and service availability for protection needs during quarantine, including social protection, shelters and trauma-centered support for family members.—Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD