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Domestic abuse and mental health: The amplified risks created during the pandemic

Hisham, I. N., Sin, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-0590-7165, Rouf, K. , Taggart, D., Townsend, G. & Sweeney, A. (2022). Domestic abuse and mental health: The amplified risks created during the pandemic. BJPsych Advances, 28(5), pp. 316-327. doi: 10.1192/bja.2021.69

Abstract

No recent pandemic has had such a severe socioeconomic impact as COVID-19. Significant economic uncertainty and social restrictions have led to increased levels of stress for many. There has been increased social isolation, financial stress and alcohol intake, all of which can increase domestic abuse and other forms of household abuse. Increases in abuse in the home found in other public health emergencies and economic recessions can be seen now - reported UK domestic abuse rates have increased since the start of COVID-19. This article focuses on how COVID-19 and its anticipated aftermath exacerbate the risk factors for domestic abuse in the general population and discusses clinical implications for mental health practitioners in the UK. It aims to provide a point of learning based on previous disease outbreaks and recessions, with a focus on specific factors, such as unemployment and alcohol misuse, and how these contribute to increasing incidence and severity of abuse - and more importantly, how mental health professionals can mitigate these for patients, 1 in 3 of whom are estimated to have already experienced abuse before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This article has been published in a revised form in BJPsych Advances https://doi.org/10.1192/bja.2021.69. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © copyright holder.
Publisher Keywords: COVID-19, domestic abuse, violence, trauma, alcohol use disorders
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
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