Effects of COVID-19 restrictions on emotional, physical and sexual violence in Latvia

Ieva Pitkēviča, Ieva Briedīte, Marta Laura Graviņa, Ināra Kantāne, Anda Ķīvīte-Urtāne, Gunta Lazdāne

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Since March 2020 COVID-19 restrictions were implemented in Latvia. The study aimed to understand the effect of COVID-19 restrictions on violence. A cross-sectional online survey was realized from July 26 to September 3. Qualitative research with structured interviews was carried out from September 24 to October 30. This study was a part of the International Sexual Health and Reproductive Health Survey (I-SHARE) realized in Latvia as a component of the National Research Programme project “Impact of COVID-19 on health care system and public health in Latvia; ways in preparing health sector for future epidemics” (Nr. VPP-COVID-2020/1-0011). Quantitative data were analyzed using MS Excel and IBM SPSS Statistics 26.0. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed. 966 women, 204 men and 3 persons who did not consider themselves neither men nor women aged 18 to 68 participated in the survey. During COVID-19 restrictions women experienced less emotional violence than before (21.2% (n=162) vs 24.9% (n=195); p<0.001). The same tendency was observed among men: 17% (n=25) in times of COVID-19 restrictions vs 22.6% (n=34) men before; p=0.018. There was no statistical difference between physical and sexual violence before and during COVID-19 restrictions. Official reports about violence against women were submitted in 3 cases and none for violence against men. 2.6% (n=8) used the support of non-governmental organizations. The qualitative study showed a different situation. “Sexual violence increased during a pandemic”, “As the state of emergency lengthened, the number of people who approached us doubled”, “Good time for violence to flourish,” was just a few of the statements. Although quantitative data showed a decrease in violence in times of COVID-19 restrictions, qualitative research showed a tendency similar to other European countries. This difference demonstrates the importance of qualitative research when studying sensitive topics such as violence within relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
Conference number: 8


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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