Author(s):Professor Louise Howard
The high prevalence of domestic violence and abuse has sometimes been termed the shadow pandemic - a pervasive public mental health problem for centuries and an overlooked cause of physical injury including death by suicide and homicide. People with mental health problems, particularly women and those with severe mental health problems, were already at increased risk of experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence before the Covid pandemic but the pandemic exacerbated structural inequalities and the challenges in service delivery may have reduced rates of identification of victims/survivors and perpetrators. Psychiatrists are well placed to identify and reduce these risks, can highlight the relationship between family violence, other forms of violence (including war) and mental health problems to the general public and policy makers, and advocate for policy and societal change.
Find more content