The domestic abuse charity, Women’s Aid, published some research findings in early January about how Covid-19 is impacting domestic abuse being reported to the police.

The research has been carried out by Katrin Hohl (City, University of London) and Kelly Johnson (Durham University) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) under the UKRI Covid-19 rapid response research call.

Overview of the research

At the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, domestic abuse charities saw a sharp increase in calls and early evidence of domestic abuse cases escalating, with domestic homicides more than doubling during the first 3 weeks of lockdown. Other countries which had locked-down earlier had also seen an increase in domestic abuse cases along with delayed reports, indicating that people were only able to seek help once restrictions had eased.

The preliminary findings indicate that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed rather than created the domestic abuse crisis. Perpetrators were already entrapping victim-survivors before lockdown, but research is showing that some have used lockdown rules to intensify or conceal their actions.

The restrictions have also made leaving (and reporting) an abusive relationship more difficult, keeping people in abusive relationships for longer. The expectation, therefore, is that there will be a post-lockdown surge in reports of domestic abuse.

Read the full report

The full report contains more detailed information and links to data which backs up the research findings.

Click on this link to read more.