Social context of Intimate Partner Violence and system response during Covid-19 in Africa: A scoping review

  • Ojo M. Agunbiade
Keywords: n/a


Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global social and public health crisis entrenched in a broader social and cultural context. COVID-19 has disproportionately affected social relationships and interactions in diverse ways. This scoping review attempts to synthesize evidence on the social contexts of IPVs and system responses to covid-19 in Africa.

Methods: The scoping review followed Arksey and O' Malley (2005) approach as refined by Joana Briggs Institute (2020). All published and unpublished literature were sourced from bibliographic databases, institutional websites, and electronic libraries from January 2020 to December 2021. The search strategy was executed in three phases using multiple search techniques from the following databases: Social Science Database and Sociological Abstract (via EBSCO), Africa Journal Archive and ProQuest (Coronavirus Research Library, Middle East & Africa Collection, Psychology, Sociology and Social Science Database) and Google Scholar. In addition, we searched the World Bank e-Library, BBC portal and other relevant websites. Only the articles written in English language were screened following the Briggs (2020) recommendations. Extracted information from these sources was convergently synthesised and presented using both thematic approach and descriptive statistics were suitable.

Results: Thirteen articles met the inclusion criteria, and the results revealed a varied prevalence of IPVs. Emotional, economic and a few cases of such violence amongst minor. IPVs was an everyday reality but grew worse among some women depending on their contexts and relationships during covid-19 outbreak and the lockdown measure that was adopted. Emotional and economic violence were the most reported, while a few cases of IPVs was mentioned among minors. Response from state and non-state actors were inadequate, reactionary and less transformative to address complex emergency like covid-19 and the possible impacts on livelihoods and intimate relationships.


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