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Table 2 Example nations’ domestic violence prevalence and interventions

From: Mental health solutions for domestic violence victims amid COVID-19: a review of the literature

  Australia U.K. China
Definition “A set of violent behaviours between current or former intimate partners, where one partner aims to exert power and control over the other through fear. Domestic violence can include physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse and psychological abuse” [60]. “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members1 regardless of gender or sexuality” [61]. An “infliction of physical, psychological or other harms among family members through means such as beating, restraints, maiming, restriction to physical liberty, as well as verbal abuse or intimidation” [62, 63].
Prevalence In 2016, 1 in 6 women 15 years and older have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner, 1 in 4 experienced emotional abuse, and 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted [64]. Available data show that, compared to the previous year, there is a 9% increase in domestic abuse-related crimes between March 2019 and March 2020 in England and Wales, the total number of which 758, 941 [65]. Academic studies suggest that domestic violence in china ranges from 10.2 to 65% [66,67,68].
Impact of COVID-19 Amid COVID-19 shelter-at-home mandates, there is a 5% hike in domestic abuse police call-outs and a 75% increase in online searches on domestic violence support [69]. Approximately 50% of women who experienced domestic violence prior to the pandemic reported more frequent or severe abuses during the pandemic [70]. In the U.K., during the 2020 Christmas season, police in West Midlands responded to 1250 domestic violence and abuse reports, a 60% increase compared to the same period in 2019 [71]. During the initial lockdown, domestic violence calls received by a nonprofit organization located in Hubei province tripled in February 2020 compared to the previous year [72].
Interventions Health centers, counseling services, and call centers, such as the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre [73]. National and local sexual violence and domestic abuse services, organizations, and independent advisers, such as the Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline [74]. Non-legal interventions (e.g., shelters and hotlines) are lacking in terms of availability, accessibility, and awareness [68, 75].
Legislation Adequacya Wholly adequate Wholly adequate Some deficiencies
  1. aLegislation adequacy is measured by three concepts, namely, “the comprehensiveness of the meaning of domestic violence in the law”, “the appropriateness of the evidence required to prove domestic violence”, and “the acceptability of the legal punishments for domestic violence and protection of the victim” [76]