Changing Patterns of Domestic Abuse during COVID-19 Lockdown

44 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2020 Last revised: 11 Sep 2020

See all articles by Ria Ivandic

Ria Ivandic

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); University of London - Department of Political Economy

Tom Kirchmaier

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance; Copenhagen Business School

Ben Linton

Metropolitan Police Service

Date Written: September 4, 2020

Abstract

The effects of preventing a COVID-19 health crisis have had unintended consequences on domestic abuse (DA) victimization. We contribute to the literature on domestic abuse in lockdown by providing insight on how changing patterns of domestic abuse can explain differences in magnitudes reported across studies. We examine the patterns of domestic abuse during the COVID-19 lockdown in Greater London and find that the lockdown changed the nature of reporting and the type of relationship the abuse occurs within. While abuse by current partners as well as family members increased on average by 8.1% and 17.1% respectively over the lockdown period, abuse by ex-partners declined by 11.4%. These findings show that reporting the average change in domestic abuse during lockdown can be misleading when designing a policy response. Moreover, we show that all the increase in DA calls is driven by third party reporting, particularly evident in areas with high density. This suggests that under reporting is present in the lockdown, particularly in households where the abuse cannot be reported by an outsider. Although these findings pertain to the COVID-19 lockdown, they also highlight the role that victim exposure and proximity has in affecting domestic abuse.

Keywords: Domestic Abuse, COVID-19, Reporting, Crime

JEL Classification: J12

Suggested Citation

Ivandic, Ria and Kirchmaier, Tom and Linton, Ben, Changing Patterns of Domestic Abuse during COVID-19 Lockdown (September 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3686873 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3686873

Ria Ivandic (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

University of London - Department of Political Economy ( email )

Strand Building
London
United Kingdom

Tom Kirchmaier

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 6854 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/tomkirchmaier/home

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Ben Linton

Metropolitan Police Service ( email )

London, ENG SW1A 2JL
United Kingdom

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