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It takes a curfew: The effect of Covid-19 on female homicides


  • Asik, Gunes A.
  • Nas Ozen, Efsan


Gender-based violence is a global phenomenon threatening women irrespective of race, nationality, education or socio-economic status. Evidence shows that domestic violence help calls have been increasing in many countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the effect on female homicides, this extreme form of violence, is not clear. In this study, we analyze the effects of social distancing measures and in particular the impact of curfews on female homicides in Turkey where domestic violence and female homicides are on the rise, causing public uproar. We find that the probability that a woman is killed by an intimate partner declined by about 57 percent during the period of strict social distancing measures, and by 83.8 percent during curfews in comparison to the same period between 2014 and 2019. We do not find any impact on female homicides by other perpetrator types. We argue that the decline in female homicides is driven by physical difficulties faced by ex-partners to reach victims, especially during curfews and fewer women leaving current partners due to economic hardships and fear of infection. Increased probability of getting caught might have also played a role in deterring deadly crimes against women.

Suggested Citation

  • Asik, Gunes A. & Nas Ozen, Efsan, 2021. "It takes a curfew: The effect of Covid-19 on female homicides," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:200:y:2021:i:c:s0165176521000380
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2021.109761

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Saravana Ravindran & Manisha Shah, 2020. "Unintended Consequences of Lockdowns: COVID-19 and the Shadow Pandemic," NBER Working Papers 27562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Titan Alon & Matthias Doepke & Jane Olmstead-Rumsey & Michèle Tertilt, 2020. "The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_163, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Demirel-Derebasoglu, Merve & Okten, Cagla, 2022. "Gendered Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Transitioning from University to Labor Market: Evidence from Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 15169, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Barron, Kai & Parry, Charles D.H. & Bradshaw, Debbie & Dorrington, Rob & Groenewald, Pam & Laubscher, Ria & Matzopoulos, Richard, 2022. "Alcohol, Violence and Injury-Induced Mortality: Evidence from a Modern-Day Prohibition," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, issue Online Ea, pages 1-44.
    3. Sonia Bhalotra & Emilia Brito & Damian Clarke & Pilar Larroulet & Francisco J. Pino, 2021. "Dynamic impacts of lockdown on domestic violence: Evidence from multiple policy shifts in Chile," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2021-189, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Roman, Soraya & Aguiar-Palma, Marina & Machado, Cecilia, 2023. "A tale of two cities: Heterogeneous effects of COVID-19 quarantine on domestic violence in Brazil," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 331(C).
    5. Bilge Erten & Pinar Keskin & Silvia Prina, 2022. "Social Distancing, Stimulus Payments, and Domestic Violence: Evidence from the US during COVID-19," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 112, pages 262-266, May.
    6. Erika Cantor & Rodrigo Salas & Romina Torres, 2022. "Femicide and Attempted Femicide before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Chile," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(13), pages 1-13, June.
    7. Rocha, Fabiana & Diaz, Maria Dolores Montoya & Pereda, Paula Carvalho & Árabe, Isadora Bousquat & Cavalcanti, Filipe & Lordemus, Samuel & Kreif, Noemi & Moreno-Serra, Rodrigo, 2024. "COVID-19 and violence against women: Current knowledge, gaps, and implications for public policy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 174(C).
    8. Barron, Kai & Bradshaw, Debbie & Parry, Charles D. H. & Dorrington, Rob & Groenewald, Pam & Laubscher, Ria & Matzopoulos, Richard, 2021. "Alcohol and Short-Run Mortality: Evidence from a Modern-Day Prohibition," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 273, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    9. Gu, Xin & Li, Hao & Peng, Langchuan, 2022. "The anti-domestic violence law and women's welfare: Evidence from a natural experiment in China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 202(C), pages 1-16.

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    More about this item


    Covid-19; Female homicide; Intimate partner violence; Pandemic; Violence against women; Gender inequalities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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