Staying Home, Staying Safe? A Short-Term Analysis of COVID-19 on Dallas Domestic Violence
Piquero, Alex R.
Riddell, Jordan R.
Bishopp, Stephen A.
Reid, Joan A.
Piquero, Nicole L.
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COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the lives of persons around the world and social scientists are just beginning to understand its consequences on human behavior. One policy that public health officials put in place to help stop the spread of the virus were stay-at-home/shelter-in-place lockdown-style orders. While designed to protect people from the coronavirus, one potential and unintended consequence of such orders could be an increase in domestic violence – including abuse of partners, elders or children. Stay-at-home orders result in perpetrators and victims being confined in close quarters for long periods of time. In this study, we use data from Dallas, Texas to examine the extent to which a local order was associated with an increase in domestic violence. Our results provide some evidence for a short-term spike in the 2 weeks after the lockdown was instituted but a decrease thereafter. We note that it is difficult to determine just how much the lockdown was the cause of this increase as the domestic violence trend was increasing prior to the order.
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