Sample Research Paper on Domestic Violence Against Young Children

Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Domestic Violence Against Young Children

Problem Statement

The global Covid-19 pandemic has led restrictions such as social distancing, quarantine,
and isolation measures that have affected people's livelihoods, jobs, and normal way of life. The
vulnerable groups in society, including children, continue to face the brunt of the pandemic. This
is evidenced by the increased reports and incidents of domestic violence against children and
women across the globe (Fielding, 2020; Usher et al., 2020; Bradbury-Jones, & Isham, 2020).
Children are particularly at increased risk for domestic violence, including emotional and
physical abuse from stressed parents or other family members. This research study seeks to
answer the following research question:
 What is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic violence against young
This study aims to investigate the impact that the covid-19 pandemic has had on instances of
domestic violence against young children.

Problem Description

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen significant government regulations aimed at reducing
the spread of infection. Such measures include isolation, which has seen schools closed down,
and children sent back home to their families. Such isolation measures have seen increased
financial and psychological impacts on not only children but whole families (Campbell, 2020).
The reduced social support networks have placed families at risk of increased domestic violence
(Usher et al., 2020). This is because of the likelihood of stressful economic and social conditions
caused by the isolation and social distancing measures necessary during the current pandemic.
Such stress is likely breeding grounds for domestic violence against children who are then unable

to seek help as isolation measures deter movement (Bradbury-Jones, & Isham, 2020; Usher et al.,
2020). According to Fielding (2020), the fear of Covid-19 infection deters domestic violence
victims from seeking treatment in hospitals. Children are also at increased risk of being
misinformed by their abusers about the pandemic, further increasing their emotional and physical
abuse (Usher et al., 2020).
Further, there has been a significant rise in domestic violence cases ever since COVID-19
became a pandemic. In Wuhan city, for instance, lockdown restrictions saw domestic violence
reports triple compared to previous years (Fielding, 2020; Usher et al., 2020). In the US, reports
indicate over 900 cases of domestic violence cases related to Covid-19 in March of 2020
(Fielding, 2020). Countries such as France saw domestic violence increase by over 30%
following the implementation of social distancing measures (Usher et al., 2020).

Research Contribution

Currently, domestic violence research has focused on intimate partner violence between
married couples, child abuse, and elderly abuse. Further, a review of previous literature on
domestic violence during pandemics mostly discusses the factors that contribute to increased
incidences of the same. These are noted to include the economic and psychological stresses
arising from, among others, loss of employment by spouses and poor coping mechanisms such as
indulgence in alcohol (Usher et al., 2020). Existing research on domestic violence during the
Covid-19 pandemic has also significantly focused on domestic violence against women as
opposed to children (Usher et al. 2020; Bradbury-Jones, & Isham, 2020). This proposed study
will, therefore, provide crucial information on how pandemics affect children at the home level.
This will be crucial to understanding the measures necessary to protect vulnerable groups in
periods of disasters or pandemics.


Study Rationale

This research study is vital to social work practice, particularly in the current age of the
Covid-19 pandemic that continues to pose significant social, economic, and psychological
challenges. According to Usher et al. (2020), pandemics such as this tend to increase domestic
violence incidents as a result of financial or employment vulnerabilities. Crucially, research
highlights that despite reduced reports of child abuse during the pandemic, this may be attributed
to reduced detection and reporting as opposed to a reduction in incidences (Campbell, 2020;
Bradbury-Jones, & Isham, 2020). The restrictions imposed by governments following the Covid-
19 pandemic have meant that children are increasingly at the home level. Typically, homes in the
society are private family areas that others tend not to want to pry into, leaving any likely
violence meted on children out of the view of others (Bradbury-Jones, & Isham, 2020). Social
workers, therefore, have a crucial role to play in identifying and mitigating the likely risks posed
to children at the home level as the pandemic continues to ravage the world. Importantly, social
workers will have a crucial role in helping such child victims of domestic violence to cope,
recover, and acquire justice once they are identified.




Usher, K., Bhullar, N., Durkin, J., Gyamfi, N., & Jackson, D. (2020). Family violence and
COVID‐19: Increased vulnerability and reduced options for support. International
Journal of Mental Health Nursing, Vol. 29(4), pp. 549-552.
Bradbury-Jones, C. & Isham, L. (2020). The pandemic paradox: The consequences of
COVID‐19 on domestic violence. Journal of Clinical Nursing, Vol. 29(13), pp. 2047-
Campbell A. M. (2020). An increasing risk of family violence during the Covid-19 pandemic:
Strengthening community collaborations to save lives. Forensic Science International:
Reports, 2, 100089.
Fielding, S. (2020, April 3). In quarantine with an abuser: surge in domestic violence reports
linked to coronavirus. The Guardian,
news/2020/apr/03/coronavirus-quarantine-abuse-domestic-violence. Accessed 18 July,