COVID-19 and its impact on intimate partner violence

Author: Penelope K. Morrison, PhD, MPH , Richard Wentling, PhD
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Article Topics: family, domestic abuse, criminal justice system Introduction Each year in the United States, nearly 12 million people are the victims of some form of intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic abuse. Under normal circumstances, IPV is an incredibly difficult public health and socio-judicial issue to address – by nature IPV is “behind closed doors,” and thus, stigma, shame and embarrassment, as well as concerns over safety and privacy, often prohibits individuals experiencing abuse from seeking help . The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to exacerbate this issue by not only increasing the incidence of IPV, but also by adding new…

Parental Substance Abuse

Author: Dr. Rina Eiden
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Article Topics: substance use, family, children Market research regarding substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic is alarming. For instance, alcoholic beverage sales increased dramatically by about 55%in March 2020 compared to March 2019. Similarly, sales of combustible cigarettes have increased across several countries during the pandemic, with survey respondents indicating tobacco use as their primary stress reduction strategy. Similar concerns have been raised about other substances . According to the American Medical Association, by July 2020, more than 35 states reported an increase in opioid-related deaths , particularly…

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children in Foster Care

Author: Sarah Font, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: foster care, children, family, maltreatment Foster Care in the United States For the hundreds of thousands of U.S. children in foster care on any given day – including 15,000 Pennsylvanian children—the pandemic imposes novel threats to their health and wellbeing. By the time children enter foster care, they have experienced severe neglect, meaning their parents were consistently unable to meet their physical, emotional, and supervision needs. Some children have also experienced or witnessed physical or sexual violence and many have parents with serious drug or alcohol addictions . The totality of these experiences means that…

Aggressive Parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Mark Feinberg, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: children, family, maltreatment During the COVID-19 pandemic, closed schools and daycare centers, parents working at home, and financial insecurity are increasing stress levels and frictions at home. These conditions lead to the potential for increases in harsh, aggressive parenting and child maltreatment that may go unreported. Against a backdrop of already high levels of family violence in the United States, family service providers should focus on ways to reduce conflict and aggression in all family relationships. Headlines are announcing that reports of child abuse are down substantially since social distancing began.…