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Brown bag seminar | The impact of COVID-19 on domestic violence in Germany

Research shows that financial distress, and poor mental health have a major impact on domestic violence among adults and against children since home quarantine began in Germany. Join the next brown bag seminar as Dr. Cara Ebert from Leibniz Institute for Economic Research will present nuance insights into domestic violence dynamics during the pandemic.

Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics cordially invites you to join the brown bag seminar `COVID-19 & domestic violence in Germany – A comprehensive approach to risk factors and trends´ with Dr. Cara Ebert (co-authors Assistant Professor Janina Steinert and PhD student Sayli Javadekar). Read the abstract below!

Interested in joining the seminar? Please contact site@hhs.se and type the subject box with "Brown bag seminar at SITE"- the Zoom link will be sent to you by email with further instructions!

Dr. Cara Ebert joined Leibniz Institute for Economic Research (RWI) as a postdoctoral researcher in the competence area "Labor markets, Education, Population". Cara’s research interests lie in the field of family, gender and human capital. Cara investigates barriers to human capital development, specifically cognitive and non-cognitive skills in early childhood,  as well as effective interventions to promote skill development and reduce gender discrimination. For these purposes she collects primary data and runs randomized controlled trials in addition to quasi-experimental identification techniques.

Abstract

We study the impact of physical distancing measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic violence in Germany. The analysis focusses on violence among adults and against children and draws on three data sources: Firstly, we include primary data from an online survey conducted during the first wave of the pandemic, which provides insights into the household-level pandemic-specific risk factors of domestic violence. Secondly, we analyse administrative data on the number of help requests to hotlines, shelters and counseling services, which allow us to estimate the increase in violence help requests as a function of policy measures to contain infection rates. Thirdly, we draw on primary qualitative and quantitative data from an online survey with counsellors and domestic violence experts to gain more nuance insights into domestic violence dynamics during the pandemic and guide the interpretation of our results. We find that home quarantine, having to take care of young children, financial distress, and poor mental health increase the risk of violence. Further, we find that the number of requests at hotlines increased significantly with the first physical distancing measures. In contrast, qualitative evidence suggests an initial reduction in the number of help requests to shelters and counseling services, followed by an increase in requests at the time at which physical distancing restrictions were lifted prior to the second wave.

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