COVID-19 and Intimate Partner Violence

Globally, 1 in 3 women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime.

Now, in the shadow of COVID-19 and its pandemic, communities, researchers, advocates, and survivors are seeing and experiencing a worsening of intimate partner violence (IPV). 

We worked with Stanford University’s Department of Emergency Medicine and the community based organization Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence to create a video series that aims to better inform health workers, community members, and survivors about the complexities of IPV, while navigating the challenges the pandemic has created in seeking help.

THE GAP
The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated existing difficulties for IPV survivors to access resources, new and existing. Risk factors known to be correlated with IPV have increased, such as financial, medical, and emotional stressors, disproportionately impacting communities of color. Resources and help systems that were once reliable and consistent closed down, migrated to online services, or were confusing for survivors and their friends and families. Many IPV hotlines and shelters experienced a decrease in call volumes, and judicial proceedings paused entirely or moved to online platforms. Many IPV victims now lack safe and reliable access to resources.

Amid these entangled issues, community health workers (CHWs) and educators can serve a vital role in supporting survivors through education, empowerment, and connection to resources. We know CHWs are trusted and knowledgeable aides for people experiencing IPV, and are key players in bridging the gap between survivors and access to help. However, lack of health worker training around IPV paired with reduced in-person or otherwise private medical encounters during COVID-19 have made it harder for people to securely reach out to CHWs, and for CHWs to reach out to survivors who could possibly be isolated.

OUR APPROACH
We collaborated with the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford’s School of Medicine and Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, a nonprofit organization located in San Jose, CA, to create an educational video series on COVID-19, IPV, and the impact of the pandemic on survivors. The video series serves as a source of information to help CHWs and community members better understand what IPV looks like, ways to support survivors, and additional resources for those interested in reaching out, all while navigating the parallel challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DISSEMINATION
All videos are freely available in both English and Spanish on our YouTube channel, as well as in the Digital Medic mobile app for iOS and Android.
Sample Project Videos

Impact on Intimate Partner Violence

Healthy vs Unhealthy Relationships

Supporting Family and Friends

COVID-19: Science of the Virus

Self-isolation and Self-quarantine

Myths and Misinformation

Additional Resources

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence
Website – www.nextdoorsolutions.org
Twitter – @NDSolutions
Instagram – next_door_solutions
Facebook – Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Website – www.thehotline.org
Call – 1.800.799.SAFE (3224)

YWCA
24/7 Support Hotline – (800) 572-2782

Futures Without Violence
Website for COVID Specific Support – https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/get-updates-information-covid-19/

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