Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Domestic Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Case of San Diego, California

August 13, 2020

Profile photo of Wendy Schiller

In August 2020, Wendy Schiller collaborated with a team of Brown undergraduate research assistants and Professor Kaitlin Sidorsky at Coastal Carolina University to produce, "Domestic Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Case of San Diego, California," a brief research essay on domestic violence and COVID-19.


In particular, the project explores the formulation, adoption, and implementation of domestic violence policies across all 50 states from 1990-2017. Recently, the group began analyzing when and why states adopt domestic violence laws related to guns. However, in the face of the current pandemic, they are now examining the impact COVID-19 has had on the incidence of domestic violence, its effect on domestic violence prosecution rates, and the limits that lockdowns have placed on access to auxiliary services on victims of domestic violence in the US. The relationship between COVID-19 and the incidence, prosecution, and limits on access to resources on domestic violence is relevant to policies concerning women more generally. While the COVID-19 pandemic is universally affecting us all, the damage it is wreaking on underrepresented groups such as people of color and women is disproportionate. As such, investigating the pandemic’s effects on domestic violence victims and how it is addressed by authorities is essential to understanding the present security of women. The research presented was concluded through a case study of San Diego.