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Comparison of Help-Seeking Consultations for Domestic Violence Before vs During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Since 2011, rates of professional help-seeking consultations (ie, inquiries) for domestic violence (DV) have been increasing steadily in Japan, with a considerable upward trend during the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Pandemic-related restrictions have increased time spent in domestic settings and contributed to income instability for both perpetrators and survivors of DV.2 These living conditions affect households with potentially abusive individuals, with survivors of DV bearing most of the physical and mental health burden.3 We compared rates of incident DV inquiries during the COVID-19 pandemic with years before onset in Japan.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: July 15, 2022.

Published: August 30, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.29421

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Seposo XT. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Xerxes T. Seposo, PhD, MPH, Department of Hygiene, Faculty of Medicine and Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita 15, Nishi 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan (seposo.xerxestesoro@pop.med.hokudai.ac.jp).

Author Contributions: Dr Seposo had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Seposo.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Seposo.

Drafting of the manuscript: Seposo.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Seposo.

Statistical analysis: Seposo.

Obtained funding: Seposo.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Seposo.

Supervision: Seposo.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Funding/Support: This study was supported by the Hokkaido University Fiscal Year 2022 SOUSEI Support Program for Young Researchers.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

References
1.
Suga  T .  Protecting women: new domestic violence countermeasures for COVID-19 in Japan.   Sex Reprod Health Matters. 2021;29(1):464-466. doi:10.1080/26410397.2021.1874601 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Evans  ML , Lindauer  M , Farrell  ME .  A pandemic within a pandemic—intimate partner violence during COVID-19.   N Engl J Med. 2020;383(24):2302-2304. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2024046 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Bhandari  D , Ozaki  A , Suzuki  T ,  et al.  Physical and verbal abuse amid COVID-19: a nationwide cross-sectional survey in Japan.   BMJ Open. 2022;12(2):e054915. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-054915 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office of Japan. Number of consultations at the Spouse Violence Counseling Support Center. 2022. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://www.gender.go.jp/english_contents/
5.
Usher  K , Bhullar  N , Durkin  J , Gyamfi  N , Jackson  D .  Family violence and COVID-19: increased vulnerability and reduced options for support.   Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2020;29(4):549-552. doi:10.1111/inm.12735 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Boserup  B , McKenney  M , Elkbuli  A .  Alarming trends in US domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Am J Emerg Med. 2020;38(12):2753-2755. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2020.04.077 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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