Analyzing the impact of public health controls

Prior to the advent of measures to control the use of drugs non-pharmaceutical measures for controlling the problem that included physical distancing from quarantine and isolation the closure of workplaces and schools, along with the requirement of personal protection equipment were the only means accessible to public health authorities to stop spreading COVID-19. Implementation of these non-pharmaceutical measures to control the spread of COVID-19 affected in a way that was not intended to affect the capacity of state and territorial coalitions for domestic violence to offer assistance for victims.

 

Methods

A semi-structured guide for interviews to examine how the COVID-19 disease affected service delivery and advocacy in general and also the ways in which COVID-19 specific measures to control the disease caused barriers to accessing advocacy and services was designed, pilot-tested and then revised based on feedback. Interviews with territorial and state director of the domestic violence coalition were conducted from November 2021 between March 2022 and November 2021. Transcripts were deductively and inductively coded by hand using hand-coding and qualitative software.

Results

The survey included forty-five percentage (25 from 56) of the state and territorial executive directors of the domestic violence coalition from all 8 National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) regions were surveyed. Five issues related to the application of non-pharmaceutical measures to control pandemics that impact the delivery of advocacy services and other services were identified.

Conclusions

The non-pharmaceutical approach to control measures in the early stages of the COVID-19 epidemic had adverse effects on the safety and health of a few vulnerable groups, such as women who have been victims of domestic violence. Organisations that offer assistance and support for victims had to face a variety of unique difficulties in executing their mandates while adhering mandatory public health measures for control. Modifications to policies and plans for preparedness are necessary to avoid the negative consequences from controlling measures implementation in vulnerable populations as well as to learn from the experience to be used for future emergencies and disasters.

Introduction

A report from the United Nations’ UNWomen has described domestic violence as to be a “shadow pandemic” during the COVID-19 epidemic, pointing out the concurrent effects of a decrease in capacity of health services shelters, helplines, and more when the epidemic grew more severe [11. The U.S., the National Domestic Violence Hotline is an information source for victims and safety-planning services and safety planning, has seen an increase in use of chat rooms online (+ 19 percent) as well as for victims who identify the victim as Asian (more than 24 percent) and also on the demand for protection aid for restraining orders or protective measures (+ 40 percent) [22.

Media and research reports on domestic violence in the outbreak have repeatedly reported the increase in reports and not being met with needs. Health control measures for public health such as stay-at-home orders or isolation and quarantine and closing courts, schools and other businesses that are not essential, have often resulted in victims being isolated from the perpetrators [3(3). In an extensive analysis and review of meta-analyses of reported domestic violence incidents prior to and after the COVID-19 lockdown period, both international as well as U.S.- based studies found statistically significant increases for domestic violence within the stay-at-home order period [44. The lockdown period that began the initial lockdown was also a time in when abusers were able to expand their influence and control over victims through the application of measures to control the situation, such as physical and social distancingand physical distancing [5.

Health control measures for public health typically consist of non-pharmaceutical or pharmaceutical treatments intended to slow or stop any spread of transmittable disease.

 

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