A new report on the domestic violence impact of the pandemic suggests an 8.1 percent increase in incidents of home orders.
The report, released on Wednesday by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (CCJ), analyzed the results of 18 studies examining the frequency of reports of domestic violence both before and during the pandemic. According to a press release, the researchers used data collected from law enforcement agencies, health authorities, domestic violence hotlines and “other administrative documents”.
The CCJ found that cases of domestic violence in the US increased 8.1 percent after lockout orders were issued – although the real percentage is likely higher as more incidents behind closed doors may occur when ordering at home. In addition, friends or family members who may otherwise have reported such incidents were likely separated from the victims or were not around to witness them.
“Our analysis confirms the initial fears we had at the start of the pandemic,” said Alex R. Piquero, lead author and chair of the Institute of Sociology at the University of Miami, in a press release.
The report’s authors also believe that the problem has been exacerbated by increased unemployment, money problems or alcohol abuse, among other stressors that the pandemic may have caused.
“The pandemic has placed many of the most vulnerable people in our society in particularly difficult situations, so these results should not surprise us,” wrote CCJ Director Thomas Abt in Wednesday’s press release. “Policymakers and researchers should work to better understand the impact of the pandemic and provide additional resources for domestic abuse prevention and victim services, especially for those who are most isolated and at risk.”
It’s not just a US problem either. The CCJ report found that while reports in the US were up 8.1 percent, the average increase for all countries surveyed in the report – Mexico, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Argentina, India, and the US – was 7.9 Percent, however, was hardly less. However, according to experts, domestic violence has always been a global problem.
The United Nations had previously warned, according to preliminary studies in 2020, of the “devastating effects” the pandemic could have on cases of sexual and domestic violence around the world, particularly against women and girls. This type of violence is known as “shadow pandemic”. The UN had already observed an increase in hotline and emergency calls in the first few months after the global pandemic.