The Increase in Domestic Violence is Also a Serious Public Health Crisis

Since the global Covid-19 pandemic, law enforcement worldwide has reported an increase in domestic violence complaints. According to Psychology Today, there may be several explanations for this, including isolation, stress, economic anxiety and joblessness, increased alcohol intake, and lack of resources.

The United States Justice Department explains that domestic violence “includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.” The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also refers to domestic violence as intimate partner violence, as it can also occur between same sex couples, but does not necessarily require intimacy.

According to the CDC, intimate partner violence is a serious public health issue as physical injury and death can occur from this type of violence. Other negative health effects may include chronic cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, reproductive, musculoskeletal, and nervous system conditions. Some survivors may experience severe mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The CDC also reports that survivors are also at higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse, as well as HIV risk behaviors.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be accessed nationwide 24- hours daily at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1800-787-3224 or (206) 518-9361 (Video Phone Only for Deaf Callers). If you are in immediate danger, call 911. Your healthcare provider can also be a trusted source to ask for help. To schedule an appointment at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.