The Invisible Pandemic: Domestic Violence and Health and Welfare Services in Italy and in the United Kingdom during Covid-19

Maria Garro, Aluette Merenda, Massimiliano Schirinzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: International research has shown how Domestic Violence (DV) can escalate during and after or large-scale crises or natural disaster. In many parts of the world, the introduction of lockdown, together with periods of global self-isolation in order to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, has put families, women and children in abusive relationships more at risk, in terms of an “invisible pandemic”. Objective: The purpose of this paper is examining specific reports from Italy and the United Kingdom and analysing how there has been a surge in the pattern of DV cases, recorded globally during the Covid-19 pandemic. Methods: For this purpose, starting from an increased number of DV reports, we examine the typology of Health and Welfare Services, delivered in Italy and in the UK, by a qualitative data collection as a way to show the problematic impact of pandemic measures for those living in and surviving abusive relationships. Results: Our findings allow a comparison between the two different countries and their Welfare Services, highlighting how lockdown has resulted in a reduction of available support for some families, while many others have experienced significant changes in how this care is provided. Conclusions: Our discussion and conclusions focus on the challenges posed by Covid-19, as well as on concerns and considerations regarding Governmental policies and Community services between these two countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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