How the COVID-19 pandemic reveals our stereotypical thinking about domestic violence even more

V. de Vogel & K. Uzieblo

The prevalence of domestic violence seems to be increasing during
the COVID-19 pandemic. In most media coverage and calls for
preventive initiatives from professionals and policy, males are
consistently portrayed as perpetrators of domestic violence and
females and children as victims, also by leading organizations
like the WHO. However, research has clearly shown that there
are more types of domestic violence, like sibling and elder abuse
and that women are also capable of serious violence towards their
family. The current article aims to summarize the literature on
gender and domestic violence, and to discuss the societal reluctance
to acknowledge females as potential perpetrators, and males as
potential victims.


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Huiselijk geweld lijkt sterk toe te nemen tijdens de Covid-19 pandemie. Wat opvalt in de berichtgeving, is dat er stelselmatig wordt uitgegaan van mannelijke daders en vrouwelijke slachtoffers. Is dit wel terecht? In dit artikel beschrijven Vivienne de Vogel en Kasia Uzieblo dat ook vrouwen huiselijk geweld plegen en gaan ze in op de weerstand in de maatschappij om vrouwen als pleger én om mannen als slachtoffer te zien van huiselijk geweld.

Huiselijk geweld is de meest voorkomende vorm van geweld met een enorme impact op alle betrokkenen, die gepaard gaat met hoge maatschappelijke kosten. Daarmee vormt het wereldwijd één van de grootste volksgezondheidsproblemen (Geweld hoort nergens thuis, 2018). Niet alleen lijden de directe slachtoffers onder dit geweld, ook getuigen van huiselijk geweld dragen hun ervaringen levenslang met zich mee. Zo is het meemaken van geweld tussen ouders of opvoeders voor kinderen een belangrijke risicofactor voor het ontwikkelen van psychische en gedragsproblemen, en om later zelf pleger en/of slachtoffer te worden van huiselijk geweld (bijv. Ehrensaft et al., 2003). De term huiselijk geweld is breed; hieronder vallen alle vormen van fysiek, psychisch, seksueel en economisch geweld die in huiselijke kring plaatsvinden, zoals partnergeweld, kindermishandeling en ouderenmishandeling.

De aandacht voor huiselijk geweld neemt sterk toe in deze crisistijd. Huiselijk geweld was al voor de COVID-19 pandemie een groot volksgezondheidsprobleem. Maar sinds de crisis, waarbij mensen noodgedwongen veel thuis verblijven, is het probleem nog urgenter

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