Abstract: Intersecting Pandemics: A Qualitative Analysis of the Impact of Covid-19 and Racial Injustice on Intimate Partner Violence Services (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

634P Intersecting Pandemics: A Qualitative Analysis of the Impact of Covid-19 and Racial Injustice on Intimate Partner Violence Services

Sunday, January 16, 2022
Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
Vithya Murugan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Terri L. Weaver, PhD, Professor, Saint Louis University
Theresa Schafer, MSW, Graduate Student, Saint Louis University
Background and purpose: Social ecology is ever evolving, and risk and resiliency factors for intimate partner violence (IPV) and associated community-level interventions are informed by macrolevel forces such as historical events. Intersecting historical events, the COVID-19 pandemic and the protests of racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd (and other Black men) at the hands of police officers, were unfolding in March and May 2020, respectively. Both macro events underscored stark health disparities for Black and Brown communities and crystallized opportunities for challenging historical assumptions and biases underlying extant IPV services. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of COVID-19 and racial injustice on survivors of IPV and service provisions. Methods: Twelve executive and program directors of IPV shelter, criminal justice and other advocacy services within a diverse, Midwestern metropolitan area were recruited to participate within in-depth, semi-structured interviews in the initial wake of the COVID-19 and racial injustice pandemics (June-August 2020). The participants were majority female (92%), with ages ranging from 25 to 70 years. Participants’ length of time with their respective agencies ranged from 1 to 20 years. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using Dedoose, a cross-platform software commonly used for qualitative and mixed-methods research. Data were analyzed through mixed content analysis that included codebook development. Results: Three major themes, contextualized by COVID-19 and racial injustice, emerged from the data analysis 1) survivor experiences, 2) IPV service provision changes, and 3) future opportunities for innovative service delivery. An emphasis was placed on describing existing gaps and opportunities for developing culturally tailored, trauma-informed services. Implications: The future development of equitable and responsive IPV services will be discussed.