Domestic Violence Surges During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the global pandemic of COVID-19 domestic violence crimes have also become a global health crisis. With the health crisis protocols to try and stop the spread of COVID-19 many governments issued shelter at home orders (Usher et al., 2020). With the shelter at home orders, domestic violence crimes increased (Bradbury-Jones & Isham, 2020; Usher et al., 2020). The victims of domestic violence had limited to no help to escape constant and daily abuse (Bradbury-Jones & Isham, 2020).  For example, Brazil has an increase of 45% in reported domestic violence crimes since the outbreak of the COVID-19 medical crisis (Bradbury-Jones & Isham, 2020). Across the United States there is also an increase in domestic violence crimes during the COVID-19 public health crisis.   

My Neighbors Keeper

Checking in with your immediate family and neighbors is critical when following shelter at home and social distancing practices. Being isolated with your abusive partner can amount to torture for the victim of constant physical and mental abuse (Bradbury-Jones & Isham, 2020; Usher et al., 2020). If you suspect a relative or friend is a victim of domestic violence abuse you need to contact your local law enforcement. Doing nothing and not getting involved could amount to a death sentence for the victim.

External factors that add stress and financial strain can trigger the abuser behaviors towards their intimate partner. The unattended consequences of a public health crisis that has forced stay-at-home orders and social distancing has added to the surge in domestic violence crimes. Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence that includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Many domestic violence shelters and community resources has been limited because of the COVID-19 public health crisis; however, local law enforcement can provide helpful resources for the victims (Bradbury-Jones & Isham, 2020).

Increase in Domestic Violence Arrest During COVID-19 Crisis

Domestic violence 911 calls are always been dangerous for victim and police. On July 11, 2020, two McAllen Police Department, Texas officers were shot and killed responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Many police departments are reporting an increase in domestic violence arrest since April 2020. The Rochester, NH Police Department has reported a 157% increase in domestic violence arrest compared to the same time last year. The Erie County (New York) District Attorney’s Office has reported a significant increase in domestic violence crimes since the COVID-19 crisis has started.

Intimate partner violence continues to be a major public health problem and with the COVID-19 crisis we are experiencing a double health crisis pandemic in America.

God Bless our Police Officers and may every officer stay safe as they protect our communities.


Bradbury-Jones, C., & Isham, L. (2020). The pandemic paradox: The consequences of COVID‐19 on domestic violence. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29, 2047-2049.

Usher, K., Bhullar, N., Durkin, J., Gyamfi, N., & Jackson, D. (2020). Family violence and COVID-19: Increased vulnerability and reduced options for support. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 19(4), 549-552. 


About the Author


Mark Bond worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms trainer for more than 30 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state, and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in Criminal Justice, and M.Ed in Educational Leadership with Summa Cum Laude Honors. Mark has a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an associate professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.