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Review Article: Violence against women in the Covid-19 pandemic: A review of the literature and a call for shared strategies to tackle health and soci

Forensic Science International

Volume 319, February 2021, 11065



The aim of this article was to conduct a rapid critical review of the literature about the relationship between violence against women (VAW) and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

After the screening process, a total of 42 articles were considered. Our review confirmed that the “stay at home” policies to contrast the pandemic have increased the problem of VAW, creating a “shadow pandemic within the pandemic”, as it was called by the United Nations. However, rigorous studies estimating the relationship between VAW and COVID-19 pandemic are scarce; most of the articles are commentaries, letters, editorials, and most of the published data derives from social media, internet, anecdotal evidence and helplines reports.

Health care systems should promote further investigations into the relation between VAW and COVID-19, to identify creative solutions to provide clinical care and forensic services for victims of VAW.

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WHO webinar: Seven strategies for ending violence against children training series: INCOME AND ECONOMIC STRENGTHENING

When: Mar 17, 2021 14:30 – 16:00 Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna


Register in advance for this webinar:

Rationale, aims and target audience
Violence affects up to 1 in 2 children every year, with devastating acute and long-term consequences. Yet, we know that violence can be prevented, we have the tools to do so, and SDG Target 16.2 calls for ending violence against children.
The INSPIRE: Seven strategies for ending violence against children technical package is a collection of evidence-based recommendations on how to prevent and respond to violence against children, including Implementation and enforcement laws; Norms and values; Safe environments; Parent and caregiver support; Income and economic strengthening; Response and support services; and Education and life skills (see
To assist governments, civil society and faith-based organizations in their efforts to reduce violence against children, the INSPIRE core agencies and INSPIRE Working Group are initiating this series of eight training webinars over the course of six months. The aims are to:
• Introduce INSPIRE to those who need to know and act on it,
• Remind those who already work with INSPIRE about the need to scale it up, and
• Give all INSPIRE stakeholders an opportunity to get detailed insights into each of the seven strategies and the cross-cutting elements.
The target audience includes policy-makers and legislators, planners and technical staff, practitioners and implementers, faith-based and traditional leaders, civil society organizations, funders, advocates, and any other interested stakeholders.
The webinar, sixth in a series of eight webinars covering the INSPIRE strategies, will present the strategy “Income and economic strengthening” in more depth.

New Checklists for Strengthening Evidence-Based Practices to Advance Behavior Change

Criminal justice and behavioral health agencies are increasingly adopting evidence-based practices to help reduce recidivism and improve public health and safety. However, the success of these practices is often hindered by lack of capacity for proper implementation. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center has developed eight checklists for professionals in corrections, community corrections, behavioral health, and social service agencies to assess implementation efforts and ensure that practices yield effective outcomes.

Dig deeper >


Copyright © 2021 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, All rights reserved



Experiences of coercive control among Australian women


New AIC research reveals that:

  • One in two women who had experienced coercive control also reported some form of physical violence, including non-fatal strangulation (27%) and assault with a weapon (23%).
  • Help-seeking was much lower among women who were experiencing coercive control, but not physical/sexual violence, when compared to women experiencing both.

The report is available for free download on the AIC website:

More information:


AIC: New research reveals how gang structures facilitate criminal activity







New research reveals how gang structures facilitate criminal activity


  • Organised crime activity is typically undertaken by outlaw motorcycle gang members in small, informal and loosely structured networks, which keep senior gang members at a strategic distance by delegating riskier activities to junior members and those outside of gangs.
  • While the formal hierarchies of gangs play some role in coordinating and structuring these networks, they do not overlap completely.
  • The review found variation between outlaw motorcycle gangs, with some gangs involved in crime at an organisational level, and others composed of members who engaged in crime independently of gang structures and hierarchies.



The report is available for free download on the AIC website:

Copyright © 2021 Australian Institute of Criminology, All rights reserved.



WHO: Deaths from injuries and violence constitute nearly 8% of all deaths globally, effective and cost-effective prevention strategies should be more

22 March 2021 – GENEVA – Injuries and violence take the lives of 4.4 million people worldwide each year. These deaths – almost the number resulting from two COVID-19 pandemics each year – constitute nearly 8% of all deaths globally. Three of the top five causes of death for people age 5-29 years are injury-related: road traffic injuries, homicide and suicide. Injuries and violence place a massive burden on national economies, costing countries billions of US dollars each year in health care, lost productivity and law enforcement.


Beyond these deaths, tens of millions of people suffer non-fatal injuries each year which lead to emergency department and acute care visits, hospitalizations, and treatment by general practitioners. They often result in temporary or permanent disability and the need for long-term care and rehabilitation. There are numerous specific strategies based on sound scientific evidence that are effective and cost-effective at preventing injuries and violence; it is critical that these strategies are more widely implemented.


“Poor people suffer more from injuries and violence because they live, work, play and travel in more precarious conditions and have less access to prevention programmes and emergency trauma care,” noted Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “As we build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that the global community understands the value of implementing these proven life-saving strategies.”


Among these include:

  • setting and enforcing laws on risks such as speeding and failing to use seat-belts to prevent road traffic injures;
  • providing gait and balance training for older people to prevent falls;
  • teaching basic swimming and water safety skills to prevent drowning;
  • developing safe, stable and nurturing relationships between children and their parents or caregivers to prevent violence; and
  • ensuring early detection and effective treatment of mental disorders, particularly depression and alcohol use disorders, to prevent suicide.


“As a field, we must find new ways to reach those in positions of power to effect change,” notes Dr Etienne Krug, WHO Director of the Department of Social Determinants of Health.


“This includes by linking with other agendas, like sustainable mobility, adolescent health and climate change. We must also address the risk factors that are common to all our issues, such as alcohol or substance use; catalyze action in countries by promoting primary prevention programmes; and forge new partnerships and ways of communicating, sharing and training the next generation of injury and violence prevention experts.”


This news alert is released in the context of the Virtual Showcase, being held from 22-26 March 2021, and established to maintain momentum of the 14th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion which was postponed from 2020 to 2022, and ensure that there is an opportunity between events to engage, network and continue knowledge sharing for the global injury prevention and safety promotion community. The Virtual Showcase will continue with the theme developed for Safety 2020 - ‘Innovation, Engagement, Action: for a safer future’, and offers more than 80 live sessions, workshops, satellite events, networking functions, e-poster presentations and others. 


Related links



Etienne Krug, MD, MPH


Social Determinants of Health

World Health Organization

20 Avenue Appia

1211 Geneva 27