COVID-19 Safety Measures Cause Spike in Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Interpersonal and domestic violence has been spiking globally as countries implement Covid-19 reduction measures. Interpersonal violence dynamics are based on an imbalance of power and control in relationships. One person may dominate another through threat of physical violence to the victim, the victim’s children or even pets. Emotional violence in the form of screaming, yelling, name calling, and gas lighting is another form. Often financial abuse controls another by preventing the victim from working, taking their money, trafficking them for sex or labor, or ruining credit. There is a myriad of ways that interpersonal violence is perpetrated.


In times of economic and social stresses these power and control imbalances are exacerbated. Confinement means that the victim is unable to leave the situation. Or the victim has to evaluate the health risks of COVID-19 against seeking services. Calls to the police go uninvestigated in some situations because of the strain on police resources. This results in impunity for the perpetrators.