COVID-19 and family violence: is this a perfect storm?

Kim Usher, Caroline Bradbury Jones, Navjot Bhullar, Dr Joanne Durkin*, Naomi Gyamfi, Syadani Riyad Fatema, Debra Jackson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


Disasters including public health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic are known to increase instances of family violence against women, children, and other diverse populations. This paper discusses and provides evidence of disaster-related vulnerability of and violence towards specific groups of people. We argue that the COVID-19 pandemic presents the ‘perfect storm’ for family violence, where a set of rare circumstances combine, resulting in a significant aggravation of the resulting event. Given the mental health implications of family violence, mental health professionals need to be aware of this issue during the pandemic and ready to assist with the development of strategies to overcome the situation where possible. To provide protection and prevent violence, there is a need to include at-risk groups in disaster response and community planning. Such a plan could involve gender and disaster working groups at the local community, state, and national levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1032
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number4
Early online date18 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd


  • COVID-19
  • disaster
  • domestic violence
  • pandemic
  • trauma
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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