The impact of Covid-19 and Covid-19 stressors on intimate partner violence in racial and ethnic minorities



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Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been a global public health issue for decades. There is a large amount of research looking at IPV that has helped researchers and mental health providers better understand IPV and help inform treatments and services for IPV. However, most research on IPV focuses on White individuals. This focus on White individuals in IPV is detrimental to racial and ethnic minorities because IPV can impact them differently. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, IPV risks factors, such as financial insecurity and social isolation, have increased. There is a small amount of research that has been published about COVID-19 and IPV, but representation of ethnic and racial minorities (REM) in these studies is inadequate. To help fill the gap in the literature about IPV and REM and to add to the emerging literature on COVID-19 and IPV, the researcher investigated the impact that COVID-19 had on IPV within the REM population, and how financial insecurity and social isolation contributed to the increase. Participants were recruited through social media, and mental health services. Participants filled out a demographic questionnaire, and scales measuring IPV, social isolation, and financial insecurity. Data from 193 participants were analyzed. Results showed that the largest percentage of participants reported that their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic with physical (38.9%), psychological (37.8%), sexual (35.2%), and economic IPV (40.9%) abuse stayed the same relative to before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, both financial insecurity and social isolation were predictors of physical, sexual, and psychological IPV. Social isolation was also a significant predictor of economic IPV while financial insecurity was not a significant predictor.


Below is a listing of major terms and their definitions. Economic Intimate Partner Violence: “A deliberate pattern of control in which individuals interfere with their partner’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain economic resources” (Postmus et al., 2020, p. 262). Financial Insecurity: The experience of concern that one’s assets will not be enough to pay for one’s expenses or future goals (Odle-Dusseau et al., 2018). Intimate Partner Violence: Any “behavior by an intimate partner that causes physical, sexual, or psychological harm, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse, and controlling behaviors” (WHO, 2013, p. vii). LGBTQ+: An acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer individuals, or other folx not covered in the letters in the acronym. Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID- 19): A respiratory illness caused by a virus which spread across the world causing a global pandemic. Social Isolation: When an individual lacks a social network. (Kim, 2019). Racial and Ethnic Minority: An individual who identifies as Black/ African American/ Caribbean, Latinx/ Latino(a)/ Hispanic, Asian/ Asian American/ Pacific Islander, Native American/ Indigenous/ Alaskan Native, or Multiracial/ Biracial.


Psychology; Clinical