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source: Psychology Today
published: 15 June 2020

While COVID-19 is a recent pandemic, interpersonal violence (IPV) is not.  Having existed from the beginning of time, relational violence is far more prevalent than meets the eye, and often more deadly.

After months of sheltering in place, whether due to formal orders or for personal protection, patterns have emerged indicating a link between COVID-19 and IPV.

Catherine Kaukinen, in a timely piece entitled “When Stay-at-Home Orders Leave Victims Unsafe at Home” (2020), explored the impact of COVID-19 on IPV.  Recognizing a heightened risk of IPV as well as its consequences in a time of decreased mobility and services, she acknowledges the unique effect this situation has on victim decision-making, options, and available resources.

Because IPV is largely under reported, Kaukinen notes that tying IPV rates to COVID-19 restrictions is challenging.  However, she notes that some data suggests an increase in IPV reports during the pandemic to domestic violence hotlines, police, emergency rooms, and social service agencies.

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