The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic violence and child abuse
This article is related directly to the 6th International Law Enforcement & Public Health (LEPH) Virtual Conference in March 2021.
Keywords:Policing, quarantine, lockdown, abuse, children, violence
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments around the world have implemented lockdown or mass quarantine measures. While the purpose of these measures is to prevent the spread of the virus, they have had important social consequences. To determine the effect that pandemic-related isolation and quarantine measures have had on domestic violence and child abuse, we analyzed Canadian police calls for service data from 2015 to 2020. Our findings indicate that calls for service related to both domestic violence and child abuse have significantly increased during the pandemic. In light of these findings, we make recommendations for both government officials responsible for pandemic management and policing organizations on how to prevent increases in domestic violence and child abuse during future lockdowns.
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