Columbia Researchers Cite Increase in Domestic Violence During COVID-19 Crisis

May 07, 2020

Rates of domestic violence that are already shockingly high—one in four women and one in ten men in the U.S. experience intimate partner violence—could be even higher today as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This month in New York City, calls to domestic violence hotlines and visits to support websites in New York City have spiked. A newly published paper by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health researchers cites reports of a recent surge in domestic violence in China during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This pandemic is a perfect storm of stress and close proximity,” says Lisa Bates, assistant professor of epidemiology, whose research interests include intersections between poverty, women's empowerment, intimate partner violence, and mental health. “Being confined in close quarters all the time under stressful conditions can make violence worse, and chronic exposure to violence is exacerbated.”