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Domestic violence reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from Latin America

Santiago Perez-Vincent () and Enrique Carreras ()
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Enrique Carreras: Collegio Carlo Alberto—University of Turin, 8 Piazza Vincenzo Arbarello

Review of Economics of the Household, 2022, vol. 20, issue 3, No 6, 799-830

Abstract: Abstract This article examines changes in the frequency and characteristics of domestic violence reports following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the imposition of mobility restrictions in six Latin American countries. We find significantly different patterns between reports of psychological and physical violence, non-cohabitant and cohabitant violence, and across alternative reporting channels (domestic violence hotlines, emergency lines, and police reports). Calls to domestic violence hotlines soared, suggesting that this channel was best suited to respond to victims’ needs during the pandemic. In turn, calls to emergency lines and police complaints declined (especially in the first weeks of the pandemic), consistent with an increase in the perceived (relative) cost of using these channels. The results reveal how the pandemic altered domestic violence victims’ demand for institutional help and highlight the relevance of domestic violence hotlines as an accessible and valuable service.

Keywords: Domestic violence; Lockdown; COVID-19; Latin America; J12; J16; I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-022-09607-9

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