In the months and years since COVID-19 became a global health crisis, word has spread rapidly about the “shadow pandemic,”–referring to the worldwide spike in domestic violence (and violence against women in general) in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Many concerns were raised during the initial lockdowns and quarantines (and rightly so) that potentially millions of victims of domestic violence were “locked in” with their abusers and had even less access to relief services or the ability to obtain protective orders.
Now that there is enough data to be processed, the UN has released a comprehensive report entitled Measuring the Shadow Pandemic: Violence Against Women During COVID-19. Not only does it confirm that violence against women has increased substantially during COVID, but the numbers themselves are quite alarming in some cases. According to another report by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, cases of domestic violence have increased by 25-33 percent worldwide. Let’s take a closer look at this “shadow pandemic” to see what we can learn.