This chapter covers the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the incidence and severity of domestic abuse cases in Europe. First, the manifestation of the COVID-19 lockdown and its adverse effects on private life are described. Building upon this description, co-occurring risks factors with a high potential to initiate or intensify domestic abuse (e.g., cramped living conditions) are discussed. Responding to various calls on investigating the impact of COVID-19 on domestic abuse incidents, IMPRODOVA research on the first lockdown shows that the related concerns for various reasons are inconsistently reflected in domestic abuse-related statistics. In some IMPRODOVA partner countries, however, victimisation numbers went up, after the lockdown ended. Consequently, the complexity of detecting domestic abuse cases during lockdowns are discussed. In line with the strong concern about intensified victimisation, innovative responses by front-line professionals to detect and manage domestic violence and abuse cases are presented. Building on the beforehand presented assumptions, findings and explanations, the chapter closes by highlighting eighteen recommendations regarding risk assessment and victim support during pandemics.


This book is published under a Creative Commons 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

Cite as

Kersten, J., Vogt, C., Burman, M., Houtsonen, J., Leonhardmair, N. & Herbinger, P. 2021, 'Risk-assessment and victim-support recommendations during the COVID-19-related lockdowns', Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security, December 2021. https://doi.org/10.18690/978-961-286-543-6.6

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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