The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic violence: The dark side of home isolation during quarantine

Med Leg J. 2020 Jul;88(2):71-73. doi: 10.1177/0025817220930553. Epub 2020 Jun 5.


Domestic violence is a global public health problem. It takes many different forms and leads to significant physical and psychological consequences for the victim and the whole family. Situations that may prompt episodes of violence in the family include stress, emotional disappointment, economic factors, bad and cramped housing, and alcohol or drug abuse. How does the government's forced home isolation to contain Covid-19 infections impact on this type of abuse? Numerous articles have reported a decrease in reports of domestic violence since quarantine began but how reliable is these data? Is it a potential wake-up call for public institutions? We discuss the risks associated with quarantine measures during the pandemic and suggest the measures to prevent and improve the reporting of abuse cases.

Keywords: Covid-19 and quarantine; Domestic abuse; hidden; impact of forced isolation with an abuser; prevention and detection; strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Communication
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Domestic Violence*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Quarantine*
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Social Isolation