Please find the latest research on Bystander Experiences of Domestic Violence and Abuse during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Wales Violence Prevention Unit will be hosting a webinar to discuss the research findings on 12th October 2021. This session will include a presentation by the lead researcher, and a panel discussion with representatives from Welsh Government, Welsh Women’s Aid and Public Health Wales. You can register to attend now on Eventbrite.
This study, delivered in partnership with the University of Exeter, and funded by Public Health Wales, included a survey and interviews with members of the public to better understand the experiences and behaviours of bystanders to domestic violence and abuse during a period of social restrictions. Whilst implemented on a small scale, this study was the first of its kind and provides new insights into bystander experiences during a global pandemic.
The research indicates that the circumstances of the pandemic, such as spending more time at home, allowed bystanders to become aware of domestic violence and abuse. A key finding was that feeling connected to their community was a significant predictor of the bystander taking prosocial action in response to the behaviour that had caused them concern, and that those who did not take action indicated that this was down to a lack of skills and not knowing what to do.
Lessons from this research suggest that public-facing bystander campaigns should be underpinned by awareness and knowledge raising of what constitutes domestic violence and abuse. Likewise, policies and programmes aimed at preventing domestic violence and abuse could aim to nurture, sustain and further encourage a sense of community, motivating bystanders to take action when witnessing or having concerns about domestic violence and abuse.
This post is also available in: Welsh