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This content will become publicly available on December 12, 2024

Title: Lessons Learned From the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States by Domestic Violence Coalition Leaders

This U.S. study explores lessons learned about domestic violence service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic identified by state, territory, and tribal coalition leadership to advance preparedness and guide structural improvements for future disasters. Semi-structured interviews with 25 Coalition leaders identified public health control measures and victim-centered strategies used to mitigate the pandemic's impacts on services and advocacy. Three main themes emerged: workforce innovations, system empowerment, and the simultaneous pandemic of racial injustice. The COVID-19 pandemic inspired Coalitions to respond creatively and highlighted resources needed to support survivors and the domestic violence (DV) workforce going forward, including reassessing the current state of the DV movement.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10479556
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
SAGE Publications
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Violence Against Women
ISSN:
1077-8012
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract Background

    Prior to the availability of pharmaceutical control measures, non-pharmaceutical control measures, including travel restrictions, physical distancing, isolation and quarantine, closure of schools and workplaces, and the use of personal protective equipment were the only tools available to public health authorities to control the spread of COVID-19. The implementation of these non-pharmaceutical control measures had unintended impacts on the ability of state and territorial domestic violence coalitions to provide services to victims.

    Methods

    A semi-structured interview guide to assess how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted service provision and advocacy generally, and how COVID-19 control measures specifically, created barriers to services and advocacy, was developed, pilot tested, and revised based on feedback. Interviews with state and territorial domestic violence coalition executive directors were conducted between November 2021 and March 2022. Transcripts were inductively and deductively coded using both hand-coding and qualitative software.

    Results

    Forty-five percent (25 of 56) of state and territorial domestic violence coalition executive directors representing all 8 National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) regions were interviewed. Five themes related to the use of non-pharmaceutical pandemic control measures with impacts on the provision of services and advocacy were identified.

    Conclusions

    The use of non-pharmaceutical control measures early in the COVID-19 pandemic had negative impacts on the health and safety of some vulnerable groups, including domestic violence victims. Organizations that provide services and advocacy to victims faced many unique challenges in carrying out their missions while adhering to required public health control measures. Policy and preparedness plan changes are needed to prevent unintended consequences of control measure implementation among vulnerable groups as well as to identify lessons learned that should be applied in future disasters and emergencies.

     
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