Social distancing in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic has led to millions of families the world over being “locked down” together in their homes and to widespread job and income losses. This has coincided with a substantial global surge in domestic violence, which the UN has described as a shadow pandemic. This is a serious concern given that both social distancing and recessionary conditions are likely to continue for some time, even if intermittently.
In her latest Policy Briefing, Professor Sonia Bhalotra examines the underlying causes for domestic violence – is it the result of income or other stress associated with unemployment, or has an escalation of conflict resulted directly from couples spending more time together? Professor Bhalotra draws upon recent research using data from Brazil that pre-dates the Covid pandemic but that may nevertheless shed light on the causes of and potential solutions to the current global spike in domestic violence.