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JAMA Netw Open ; 4(9): e2122260, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391521


Importance: Domestic violence (DV) has become a growing public health concern during the COVID-19 pandemic because individuals may be sheltering in place with abusers and facing mounting economic and health-related stresses. Objective: To analyze associations of the 2020 COVID-19 stay-at-home (SH) order with DV police reporting and resource availability, including differences by community area racial/ethnic composition. Design, Setting, and Participants: This longitudinal cohort study assessed DV police reports (January-June 2020) obtained from the Chicago, Illinois, Police Department and DV resource availability (March and August 2020) obtained from the NowPow community resource database, both for 77 community areas in Chicago. Data were analyzed July through December 2020. Exposures: The COVID-19 SH order effective March 21, 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Monthly rates of DV police reports and DV resource availability per 100 000 persons. Results: Of 77 community areas in Chicago, 28 (36.4%) were majority Black, 19 (24.7%) majority Hispanic/Latinx, 18 (23.4%) majority White, and 12 (15.6%) a different or no majority race/ethnicity, representing an estimated population of 2 718 555 individuals. For each community area, the SH order was associated with a decrease in the rate of DV police reports by 21.8 (95% CI, -30.48 to -13.07) crimes per 100 000 persons per month relative to the same months in 2019. Compared with White majority community areas, Black majority areas had a decrease in the rate of DV police reports by 40.8 (95% CI, -62.93 to -18.75) crimes per 100 000 persons per month relative to the same months in 2019. The SH order was also associated with a decrease in DV resource availability at a rate of 5.1 (95% CI, -7.55 to -2.67) resources per 100 000 persons, with the largest decreases for mental health (-4.3 [95% CI, -5.97 to -2.66] resources per 100 000 persons) and personal safety (-2.4 [95% CI, -4.40 to -0.41] resources per 100 000 persons). The Black majority south side of Chicago had a larger decrease in resource availability (-6.7 [95% CI, -12.92 to -0.46] resources per 100 000 persons) than the White majority north side. Conclusions and Relevance: In this longitudinal cohort study, the rate of DV police reports decreased after the SH order was implemented in Chicago. This decrease was largely observed in Black majority communities, whereas there was no significant change in White majority communities. These findings may reflect decreased DV incidence but may also reflect an exacerbation of underreporting. In addition, DV resource availability decreased disproportionately on the predominantly Black south side of Chicago.

Domestic Violence/statistics & numerical data , Police/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chicago/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Domestic Violence/ethnology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2
Arch Womens Ment Health ; 23(6): 749-756, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-871479


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic created a situation of general distress. Although the focus has been initially more on the physical health during the pandemic, mental health concerns linked to the lockdown have quickly risen. This study aims to assess the effect of the COVID-19-related lockdown on Tunisian women's mental health and gender-based violence. An online survey was conducted, using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21) and the Facebook Bergen Addiction Scale (FBAS). We chose a female-exclusive social group on Facebook and used the snowball sampling method. A total of 751 participants originating from all the Tunisian regions completed the questionnaire. More than half of the participants (57.3%) reported extremely severe distress symptoms, as per the DASS-21. Those who had a history of mental illness and who were allegedly abused during lockdown were found to have more severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Around 40% of women reported problematic social media use. Violence against women also reportedly increased significantly during the lockdown (from 4.4 to 14.8%; p < 0.001). Psychological abuse was the most frequent type of violence (96%). Women who had experienced abuse before the lockdown were at an increased risk of violence during lockdown (p < 0.001; OR = 19.34 [8.71-43.00]). To our knowledge, this is the first study that evaluates the acute impact of COVID-19 on mental health and violence against women in Tunisia, Africa, and the Arab world. It may be a sound basis for developing a more effective psychological intervention aimed at women in these regions.

Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Depression/psychology , Domestic Violence/statistics & numerical data , Gender-Based Violence/statistics & numerical data , Intimate Partner Violence/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine/psychology , Adult , Aged , Anxiety/ethnology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/ethnology , Domestic Violence/ethnology , Domestic Violence/psychology , Female , Gender-Based Violence/ethnology , Gender-Based Violence/psychology , Health Surveys , Humans , Intimate Partner Violence/ethnology , Intimate Partner Violence/psychology , Mental Disorders/psychology , Middle Aged , Psychological Distress , SARS-CoV-2 , Spouse Abuse/ethnology , Spouse Abuse/psychology , Spouse Abuse/statistics & numerical data , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tunisia/epidemiology