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  • 1.
    Basic, Amir
    Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Criminology (KR).
    COVID-19’s effect on Domestic Violence in Sweden during the first 6 months of 2020.: A deeper look into gender differences, weekly crime rates, and the relationship between the victim and offender.2021Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about several restrictions throughout society which has limited people's outdoor activities and forced individuals to stay home. These circumstances have possibly had an impact on the prevalence of domestic violence and other types of assault. This paper uses police crime data from the first six months of 2020 to analyse if any changes in domestic violence can be attributed to the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions in Sweden. Using the LUPP method, developed by The Swedish Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ), this paper investigates weekly changes in crime compared to the same period in 2019 while additionally studying the prevalence of different types of relationships between the victim and offender. Results indicate that partner violence for men has doubled in relation to all assault crimes, and that partner violence for women has also increased substantially, accounting for 46 % of total assault crimes in the observed period. Abuse by family members, other acquaintances, and unknown persons have seemingly gone down in 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. A concluding regression analysis reveals weak to moderate correlations between changes in domestic violence- and non-domestic violence crimes and COVID-19 restrictions, even when changes in seasonality is accounted for. While the increase in domestic violence crimes does not directly coincide with the emergence of COVID-19, results indicate that the implemented restrictions have played an important role in maintaining heightened levels throughout the observed period. Future research is advised to continue testing for correlations to COVID-19 restrictions, while also considering other variables which could be related to domestic violence, such as increased alcohol consumption at home, family isolation, and economic stress. 

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