Changes in Frequency and Form of Domestic Violence in Calls to Violence Helpline during COVID-19 in Finland
30 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2022
Date Written: June 3, 2022
In the wake of COVID-19 a second pandemic of domestic violence (DV) has been reported. Stay-at-home orders intended to protect citizens and mitigate the spread of the virus have left many DV victims trapped with their abusers. Research indicates an increase in the frequency and severity of violence against women during the pandemic. Additionally, according to international studies, the fear, uncertainty, and perceived lack of control associated with the pandemic creates an environment that can exacerbate and trigger different forms of violence. The pandemic makes help seeking even harder with disruptions in and limited access to support services. However, a more detailed picture on the changes in the frequency and form of DV remains unclear. We analyzed the changes in frequency and content to the Finnish violence helpline Nollalinja both before and during the pandemic (N=7416). Regression models were built to predict changes in call contents with the presence of the COVID -19 pandemic. An overall increase was found in the number of DV calls during the pandemic, and especially during the emergency powers legislation. Psychological violence increasing more steeply than other types of violence. The proportion between various forms of violence remained unchanged. These findings provide detailed data on the phenomenon of DV during the pandemic and inform service development and provision.
Funding Information: Research has been funded by the Academy of Finland, grant number 294648.
Conflict of Interests: Authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Keywords: consequences of violence, COVID-19, domestic violence, frequency of violence, violence helpline, types of violence
JEL Classification: I10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation