Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Function: A Systematic Review

Prehosp Disaster Med. 2021 Oct;36(5):593-598. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X21000789. Epub 2021 Jul 27.


Introduction: The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), or coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has affected many people in the world and has impacted the physical, social, and mental health of the world population. One of these psychological consequences is intimate partner violence affecting sexual health.

Methods: This study was performed as a systematic review on the effect of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on sexual function and domestic violence in the world. Accordingly, all English-language studies conducted from the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to the end of 2020 were extracted by searching in the Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed (including Medline), Cochrane Library, and Science Direct databases and then reviewed. The quality of the articles was assessed using the STROBE checklist.

Results: A total of 11 studies were included in the systematic review. Accordingly, domestic violence during the exposure to COVID-19 had increased. Moreover, the mean scores of sexual function and its components had reduced at the time of exposure to the pandemic compared to before.

Conclusion: Given the potential long-term effects of the coronavirus crisis and the large population being affected by this disease, strategies to promote sexual health and fertility of families to prevent or further reduce violence and sexual functions should be chosen.

Keywords: COVID-19; intimate partner violence; pandemic; sexual function; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Domestic Violence*
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence*
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2