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Inequalities in intimate partner violence screening and receiving information among diverse groups of women: an online survey during COVID-19 lockdowns
  1. Beatris Agronsky,
  2. Samira Alfayumi-Zeadna,
  3. Ruslan Sergienko,
  4. Nihaya Daoud
  1. School of Public Health, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Faculty of Health Sciences, Beer-Sheva, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Professor Nihaya Daoud, School of Public Health, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Faculty of Health Sciences, Beer-Sheva, Israel; daoud{at}


Background Research shows violence against women likely increases during emergencies. COVID-19’s emergence exacerbated intimate partner violence (IPV), suggesting that healthcare services (HCS) should have increased IPV screening efforts and referrals of victims to support services. However, little is known about the prevalence of IPV screening and information provision during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Methods We examined prevalence of ‘ever been screened’ (ES) for IPV and ‘receiving information about support services’ (RI) in HCS during COVID-19 lockdowns and compared these among non-immigrant Jewish women, immigrant Jewish and other women, and Palestinian women citizens in Israel. We collected data during Israel’s second and third COVID-19 lockdowns (October 2020–February 2021) using a structured, online, self-administrated Arabic-language and Hebrew-language questionnaire. Eligibility criteria included women ≥18 years old, citizens of Israel, in a current intimate relationship (permanent or occasional) who used social media or smartphones. In total, 519 women completed the survey: 73 Palestinian, 127 Jewish immigrants and others, and 319 non-immigrant Jewish.

Results Overall, 37.2% of women reported any IPV, of whom just 26.9% reported ES, 39.4% reported RI and 13.5% reported both (ES&RI). Palestinian women reported higher IPV rates (49.3%) compared with non-immigrant Jewish (34.2%) and immigrant Jewish and other (37.8%) women; however, they reported lower ES (OR 0.64, 90% CI (0.34 to 1.86) and RI 0.29 (0.17 to 0.50).

Conclusions In a survey during COVID-19 lockdowns, only about one-quarter of women who reported IPV were ES for IPV, or RI about support services, suggesting strengthened IPV screening is needed in HCS during emergencies, particularly targeting minority women, who report higher IPV but receive fewer services.

  • screening
  • COVID-19
  • violence

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplemental information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplemental information.

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  • Contributors ND initiated the study and was responsible for the study design and all aspects of the study. ND is the

    guarantor and she accepts full responsibility for the work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish

    BA was responsible for data collection, data analysis, and writing of the findings under the supervision of ND. BA prepared the first draft of the paper together with ND. RS helped with programing the study questionnaire with REDCap. SAZ contributed with Arabic- and Hebrew-language questionnaires and other study forms, programming the questionnaires in REDCap, and data collection. All authors read and approved the last version of the paper.-

  • 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.

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

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.