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Protection for Some, Purgatory for Others: Evidence from Helplines on the Evolution of Violence Against Peruvian Women and Children During the Covid-19 Pandemic
24 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021More...
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic created conditions that aggravated violence against women and children. Several countries expanded helplines and we analyze the process and outcomes in Peru.
Methods: We divided the year into three periods: pre-lockdown, lockdown, and post-lockdown. Based on the mean difference in calls by month per million population between 2020 and 2019 in the pre-lockdown period we calculated the expected calls that we would have observed in the absence of the pandemic in the following periods. We performed stratified analyses by type of violence and perpetrator relationship in women and children.
Findings: We identified 77% more calls per month in 2020 compared to 2019.In women, during the lockdown period there was an increase in calls when the perpetrator was the partner (45·2, 95%CI:14·2; 76·3) and other relatives (17·5, 95%CI: 3·6; 31·4) and in the post-lockdown period, there was an increase from all types of perpetrators. Regarding sexual violence, in the lockdown period, calls related to a perpetrator from outside the household decreased for both children (-8·6, 95% CI: -14·5; -2·6 calls/month per million) and women (-5·2, 95% CI: -8.1; -2·3).
Interpretation: The lockdown may have had a protective effect against violence by perpetrators from outside the household for both children and women in Peru. However, when the origin of the violence was within the family environment, a decrease in calls is inconclusive, especially in calls related to sexual or physical violence, as the lockdown could affect either the incidence of events or the failure to report.
Funding Information: Renzo Calderon was supported by the Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowship, McGill
Declaration of Interests: None to declare.
Ethics Approval Statement: Ethics approval was not requested for the present study. The data has been collected by the Peruvian Ministry of Women after obtaining consent and has been properly anonymized. All the information used in the present study is freely available in the public domain, and no additional data was collected.
Keywords: Violence against women, violence against children, COVID-19, lockdown
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