Intimate partner violence (IPV) causes substantial physical and psychological trauma. Restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including lockdowns and movement restrictions, may exacerbate IPV risk and reduce access to IPV support services. This cross-sectional study examines IPV during COVID-19 restrictions in 30 countries from the International Sexual HeAlth and REproductive Health (I-SHARE) study conducted from July 20th, 2020, to February, 15th, 2021. IPV was a primary outcome measure adapted from a World Health Organization multicountry survey. Mixed-effects modeling was used to determine IPV correlates among participants stratified by cohabitation status. The sample included 23,067 participants from 30 countries. A total of 1,070/15,336 (7.0%) participants stated that they experienced IPV during COVID-19 restrictions. A total of 1,486/15,336 (9.2%) participants stated that they had experienced either physical or sexual partner violence before the restrictions, which then decreased to 1,070 (7.0%) after the restrictions. In general, identifying as a sexual minority and experiencing greater economic vulnerability were associated with higher odds of experiencing IPV during COVID-19 restrictions, which were accentuated among participants who were living with their partners. Greater stringency of COVID-19 restrictions and living in urban or semi-urban areas were associated with lower odds of experiencing IPV in some settings. The I-SHARE data suggest a substantial burden of IPV during COVID-19 restrictions. However, the restrictions were correlated with reduced IPV in some settings. There is a need for investing in specific support systems for survivors of IPV during the implementation of restrictions designed to contain infectious disease outbreaks.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: JT received support from the US NIH (NIAID K24AI143471, UH3HD096929). The funder played no role in study design, the methods of collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for publication.
We want to acknowledge the following I-SHARE members for their contributions to this article: Kristien Michielsen, Vinicius Jobim Fischer, Amr Abdelhamed, Noor Ani Ahmad, Juliana Anderson, Nicholás Brunet, Sharyn Burns, Leonardo Chavane, Juan Carlos Rivillas, Fiorella Farje De la Torre, José de Jesús González- Salazar, Gert Martin Hald, Devon Hensel, Corina Iliadi-Tulbure, Olena Ivanova, Anna Kågesten, Kateřina Klapilová, Lucia Knight, Dorie Kogut, Eneyi Kpokiri, Gunta Lazdane, Alejandra Lopez-Gomez, Ismael Maatouk, Filippo Maria Nimbi, Caroline Moreau, Rocio Murad Rivera, Viola Nilah Nyakato, Pedro Nobre, Caitlin Alsandria O’Hara, Shania Pande, Emilie Peeters, Carles Pericas, Lore Remmerie, Juan Rivillas, Eusebio Rubio-Aurioles, Osama Shaeer, Jenna Marie Strizzi, Kun Tang, Inês M. Tavares, Jennifer Toller Erausquin, Sonam Shah, Eline Van Damme, Wah Yun Low, and Wei-Hong Zhang. A full list of I-SHARE consortium members can be found on the I-SHARE website. We would like to thank the Academic Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy, Social Entrepreneurship to Spur Health, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Sexually Transmitted Research Interest Group, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: JT received support from the US NIH (NIAID K24AI143471, UH3HD096929). The funder played no role in study design, the methods of collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for publication.
© The Author(s) 2023.
- physical violence
- sexual assault
- sexual coercion
- sexual violence
- social science
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural