The spatial dimension of domestic violence & the covid-19 crisis

Authors: Marion Tillous*, Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis / LEGS & PACTE, Evangelina SAN MARTIN*, Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis / LEGS, Pauline Delage, CNRS / CRESPPA-CSU
Topics: Gender, Transportation Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: domestic violence, covid-19, gender, mobility, public policies, qualitative methodology, France
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 22
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The lockdown implemented in response to the Covid-19 health crisis had the immediate effect of a considerable increase in domestic violence against women. From the first week of its implementation in France, reports to law enforcement agencies increased by more than 30% (Ministry of Home Affairs, March 26 2020). The obligation to stay at home or to carry a certificate of exit, the closure of schools, public services and facilities and most businesses, all these measures constitute what is above all a spatial policy, and this policy has reinforced the spatial control exercised by violent men over their (ex-)intimate partner, and thus the shrinkage of the victims’ everyday space. At the same time, however, unprecedented measures have been implemented to deal with violence, again mainly spatial, with the possibility of denouncing the violence by going to the pharmacy or the shopping center, and the isolation of the aggressors in independent housing. At the time of assessment, it is crucial to ask whether these policies have succeeded in restoring spatial power to the victims.

The paper will present the results of an on-going research project on the spatial impact of public policies implemented during the covid-19 crisis on domestic violence. The methodology is twofold with (1) the collection of the stories of victims by conducting semi-structured interviews and (2) the analysis of public policies their connection with the action of associations that fights violence against women and civil society, by the reading of grey literature and the conducting of actor interviews.

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