COVID-19 Lockdowns and Domestic Violence: Evidence from Two Studies in Argentina

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Jul 2020
This publication presents two independent and complementary studies on the impact of the mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns on domestic violence in Argentina. The first study examines the evolution of calls to Línea 137, the domestic violence hotline in the City of Buenos Aires, and finds a significant increase (28 percent) in calls following the introduction of mobility restrictions. The study also finds a large substitution in reporting channels: calls to the hotline received from the police and other institutions fell sharply while direct calls from the victims increased by 82 percent. The second study shows evidence from a victimization survey conducted right after the lockdown came into effect. Comparing women whose partners were exempt from complying with the stay-at-home order with women whose partners were not, the study finds a positive link between lockdown restrictions and intimate partner violence. The combination of these two approaches and analyses delivers consistent and compelling evidence on the impact of the lockdown on domestic violence incidents. The studies highlight the need to complement the mobility restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with specific services to respond to the domestic violence that the lockdown generates.