Domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic - Evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis

Alex R. Piquero, Wesley G. Jennings, Erin Jemison, Catherine Kaukinen, Felicia Marie Knaul

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

376 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this review was to estimate the effect of COVID-19-related restrictions (i.e., stay at home orders, lockdown orders) on reported incidents of domestic violence. Methods: A systematic review of articles was conducted in various databases and a meta-analysis was also performed. The search was carried out based on conventional scientific standards that are outlined in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) and studies needed to meet certain criteria. Results: Analyses were conducted with a random effects restricted maximum likelihood model. Eighteen empirical studies (and 37 estimates) that met the general inclusion criteria were used. Results showed that most study estimates were indicative of an increase in domestic violence post-lockdowns. The overall mean effect size was 0.66 (CI: 0.08–1.24). The effects were stronger when only US studies were considered. Conclusion: Incidents of domestic violence increased in response to stay-at-home/lockdown orders, a finding that is based on several studies from different cities, states, and several countries around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101806
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Domestic violence
  • Lockdowns
  • Meta-analysis

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