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Sheltering in place and domestic violence: Evidence from calls for service during COVID-19

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  • Leslie, Emily
  • Wilson, Riley

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an economic slowdown as more people practice social distancing and shelter at home. The increase in family isolation, unemployment, and economic stress has the potential to increase domestic violence. We document the pandemic's impact on police calls for service for domestic violence. The pandemic increased domestic violence calls by 7.5% during March through May of 2020, with effects concentrated during the first five weeks after social distancing began. The increase in reported domestic violence incidents began before official stay-at-home orders were mandated. It is not driven by any particular demographic group but does appear to be driven by households without a previous history of domestic violence.

Suggested Citation

  • Leslie, Emily & Wilson, Riley, 2020. "Sheltering in place and domestic violence: Evidence from calls for service during COVID-19," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:189:y:2020:i:c:s0047272720301055
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104241
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coronavirus; COVID-19; Domestic violence; Calls for service;
    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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