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Changes in intimate partner violence during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA
  1. Katelyn K Jetelina,
  2. Gregory Knell,
  3. Rebecca J Molsberry
  1. School of Public Health, Dallas Regional Campus, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Dallas, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katelyn K Jetelina, School of Public Health, Dallas Regional Campus, University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas, TX 77030, USA; katelyn.k.jetelina{at}


The objective of this study is to describe intimate partner violence (IPV) severity and types of victimization during the early states of the COVID19 pandemic. A survey was distributed through social media and email distribution lists. The survey was open for 14 days in April 2020 and 2441 participated. Information on IPV, COVID19-related IPV severity, sociodemographics, and COVID19-related behaviors (eg, job loss) were collected. Regression models were used to evaluate COVID19-related IPV severity across victimization types and sociodemographics. 18% screened positive for IPV. Among the respondents that screened positive, 54% stated the victimization remained the same since the COVID19 outbreak, while 17% stated it worsened and 30% stated it got better. The odds of worsening victimization during the pandemic was significantly higher among physical and sexual violence. While the majority of IPV participants reported victimization to remain the same, sexual and physical violence was exacerbated during the early stages of the pandemic. Addressing victimization during the pandemic (and beyond) must be multi-sectorial.

  • violence
  • descriptive epidemiology
  • multiple injury

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  • Contributors KKJ conceptualised the project, conducted analyses and wrote the first draft. RJM conducted the literature search and assisted in writing. GK conceptualised the parent study and provided editorial assistance.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Data collection for this study was approved by the Center for the Protection of Human Subjects at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (HSC-SPH-20-0346).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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