Domestic violence rates are increasing in developing and developed countries alike during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of domestic violence incidents in the US increased by 8.1% after lockdown orders, according to analysis released by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (NCCCJ) on Feb. 24.
The analysis is based on a review of 18 US and international studies that compared domestic violence incidents before and after lockdown orders rolled out in March 2020, according to CNN.
Early reports on domestic violence only relied on police reports, but NCCCJ’s analysis drew data from police call logs, domestic violence crime reports, emergency hotline registries, and health records. Every form of data showed overwhelming evidence of an increase in domestic violence.
“Our analysis confirms the initial fears we had at the outset of the pandemic,” Alex Piquero, chair of the University of Miami department of sociology and lead author of the analysis, told CNN.
Domestic violence often goes underreported due to shame and fear and is not always taken seriously by law enforcement. Lockdowns have also trapped more survivors with their abusers and made it more difficult to report incidents or have others intervene, creating what the United Nations is referring to as the “shadow pandemic” of violence against women.
“In my mind, I think that 8% is a floor and not a ceiling,” Piquero said. “I think the problem is actually worse than we actually know right now.”
The authors of the report say that while there is significant evidence to link the uptick in domestic violence to lockdowns and increased isolation, they still can’t pinpoint exactly why domestic violence rates are up.
Read the full article about domestic violence during COVID-19 by Leah Rodriguez at Global Citizen.
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