In early March 2020, the world shut down in hopes of controlling the rapidly spreading respiratory virus COVID-19, however, during this time, intimate partner violence was rapidly increasing (Johnson and Green 2020: 1; Mineo, 2022: 2). On average 15 million Americans are victims of intimate partner violence annually, and the global lockdown and isolation created the perfect opportunity for abusers to go unseen and victims to be unprotected. Some even consider intimate partner violence during COVID-19 as a “pandemic within a pandemic” (Johnson et al., 2020: 1). The populations most at risk are women, ages 18-24, yet the examination of this population during this unprecedented time has not been thoroughly reviewed (Catalano, 2012:4; Edwards & Littleton, 2016: 2; Brewer et al. 2018: 683). This study aims to identify how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced IPV among 18-24-year-olds living with their partner and those who were separated as well as the treatment barriers from the perspective of clinicians. The findings will provide an in-depth understanding of the last three years in the United States and shine a light on an issue that is most often overlooked.
Licensed clinicians from domestic violence agencies in the NY Capital Region were invited to participate in a Semi-structured interview. Each clinician participated in a 45-minute semistructured zoom video conference interview with the principal investigator. The Zoom calls were recorded for the purpose of transcription and thematic analysis.
Four themes emerged within the interview data; COVID, Safety, Seeking Help, and Outreach. With subthemes being; Treatment Methods, Barriers, Resources, Housing, Client Experiences, safety procedures, Demographic, forms of violence, and Misconceptions of abuse.
These findings suggested that there was an increase in physical IPV among those quarantined with their abusers and an increase in staking and online abuse for those living separately. Clinicians saw an initial decrease in those seeking help before an increase months after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the united states.
Intimate Partner Violence, Isolation