Hexbyte Glen Cove Domestic violence levels remained flat in Michigan during early pandemic, but abuse was worse

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, media reports warned of skyrocketing domestic violence.

While the overall prevalence of in Michigan didn’t increase, survivors of intimate partner violence experienced new, more frequent or more severe violence during the early months of the pandemic, a University of Michigan study found.

U-M researchers surveyed 1,169 Michigan women and transgender/nonbinary individuals from June to August 2020 about changes in prevalence, severity and correlates to intimate partner violence.

Roughly 1 in 7 Michigan women and trans/nonbinary people experienced intimate partner violence—similar to pre-pandemic levels—but 1 in 10 experienced new, more frequent or more severe violence during that time period, said study co-author Sarah Peitzmeier, assistant professor at the U-M School of Nursing and School of Public Health.

Populations more likely to experience new, worse or more frequent intimate partner violence were those who were economically vulnerable or housing-unstable; trans and nonbinary people; and those living with six or more in a household. Also, essential workers were twice as likely to experience new or worse violence, while one-third of pregnant women and one-fourth of households with toddlers experienced new or worse violence.

Also, people who tested for COVID were more likely to experience new or worse violence, and 86% of people who tested positive in the early weeks of the pandemic experienced new or more severe violence.

“There is clearly some interaction between this COVID pandemic and this pandemic of intimate partner violence,” Peitzmeier said.

The findings were shared in December 2020 with several state agencies and the governor’s office, as well as several universities and major hospitals across Michigan.

Peitzmeier and her research partner Lisa Fedina, assistant professor at the U-M School of Social Work, say the results appear consistent with the reports from media and domestic violence advocates.






“Maybe pre-pandemic, folks were experiencing a low level of abuse and weren’t needing to reach out to a hotline or seek services, but during the pandemic they experienced an increase in severity,” Peitzmeier said. “On the ground, service providers see an increased need, even if at the population level we don’t see an overall increase in numbers of people experiencing abuse. At the same time, the situation is getting worse for many survivors.”

If more people reported new violence, shouldn’t the overall prevalence increase? Not necessarily, because someone who was experiencing violence before could be experiencing violence from a new , she said.

And roughly 3% of respondents started experiencing violence during the pandemic, but 3% stopped experiencing it during the same period. Researchers aren’t sure why—it may be related to the cyclical nature of domestic abuse, or it may be that the abuser and victim don’t live together and during lockdown the abuser did not have access to the victim.

Peitzmeier said it is difficult to explain the nuances of the research, and some academics and domestic violence advocates think the findings either overemphasized or underemphasized the effect of domestic violence in the state.

“It’s important to look at these results and remember that even if the prevalence of women and trans people experiencing domestic violence did not increase, there are still 1 in 10 and trans people who are seeing more severe or increased domestic ,” Peitzmeier said. “We have to focus on, ‘How do we help these people?'”

Peitzmeier suggested that policies such as eviction moratoria and rental and child care subsidies, partnering with prenatal and pediatric clinics and COVID testing sites to distribute information, and referrals to domestic violence services could help.

Fedina said much can be done to help survivors, starting with believing and listening.

“We can donate our time, money or other resources to local organizations serving domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, recognizing that many domestic violence shelters and social service providers have faced budget cuts during the while the need for services has only increased,” she said.

“(Also), we need Congress to prioritize the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2021 to ensure survivors have access to stable housing and other critical economic supports. Contact your senators and urge them to support this vital bill that will protect survivors and save lives.”



More information:
Sarah M. Peitzmeier et al, Increases in Intimate Partner Violence During COVID-19: Prevalence and Correlates, Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2021). DOI: 10.1177/08862605211052586

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Domestic violence levels remained flat in Michigan during early pandemic, but abuse was worse (2022, February 8)
retrieved 9 February 2022
from https://phys.org/news/2022-02-domestic-violence-flat-michigan-early.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Domestic violence goes unrecognized in faith communities

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Australians who are frequently involved in religion and who identify as religious are less likely to acknowledge domestic violence is an issue within their faith community, despite acknowledging it as a national issue, a new study has found.

Led by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) the study examined determinants of domestic violence among more than 1,200 people.

Lead author Professor Naomi Priest from the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods said the study looked at the links between religious involvement and identity and determinants of domestic violence.

“Our study clearly shows people who are frequently engaged in religious activities, such as attending services or prayer, or who identify as religious, are less likely to acknowledge domestic violence is an issue in their faith community,” Professor Priest said.

“We also found the same among people who attended religious activities infrequently.

“However, this doesn’t mean that people who are religious don’t acknowledge domestic violence as an issue at all. Despite being less likely to acknowledge domestic violence as an issue within their own faith community, there was no evidence that religious involvement or identity were associated with failure to acknowledge domestic violence as a national issue.

“Simply put, this study found if you’re religious it doesn’t mean you think domestic violence isn’t happening. But, you are not inclined to recognize it as an issue among members of your own faith.”

The study, based on a representative sample of Australians, also looked at the prevalence of patriarchal gender attitudes among people who are religious. According to Professor Priest, patriarchal gender attitudes are a key determinant of domestic violence.

“In this study we found that the more religious people were, the more likely they were to have patriarchal gender attitudes,” Professor Priest said.

“Religious service attendance, frequency of prayer, and spiritual or religious identity were each associated with more patriarchal beliefs about gender roles.”

Professor Priest said the study’s findings were important as Australia still “grappled to address the serious burden of domestic violence across our whole society.”

“Religion plays a major role in the health and wellbeing of our population and religious communities are key to helping us prevent and respond to domestic violence,” she said.

“Addressing patriarchal beliefs and acknowledgment of domestic violence as an issue within among those who regularly attend services, pray and identify as religious, are key targets for action to address and improve population health,” she said.

“Our findings highlight that if we are to make progress there is still much work to be done.”



More information:
Naomi Priest et al, A ‘dark side’ of religion?’ – Associations between religious involvement, identity and domestic violence determinants, (2021). DOI: 10.31235/osf.io/9hf6d

Citation:
Domestic violence goes unrecognized in faith communities (2021, November 30)
retrieved 1 December 2021

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Hexbyte Glen Cove DNA shows Japanese wolf closest relative of domestic dogs

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Stuffed specimen of Honshu wolf (Japanese Wolf, Canis hodophilax). Exhibit in the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Momotarou2012/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

A team of researchers affiliated with several entities in Japan has found evidence that the Japanese wolf is the closest known relative of domestic dogs. The team has published a paper describing their genetic analysis of the extinct wolf and its relationship with modern dogs.

The Japanese is a subspecies of the gray wolf and once lived on many of the islands of what is now Japan. The was declared extinct in 1905 after hunters and landowners killed them off, but many tissue and bone samples were preserved. In this new effort, the researchers extracted DNA from tissue in bone samples from several museums in Japan.

By comparing the DNA of the Japanese wolf with the DNA of other and and species such as foxes, the researchers found that it resides on a unique evolutionary branch of wolves—one that arose sometime between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago. They also noted that some of those ancient wolves evolved into Japanese wolves and others evolved into dogs.

Prior research has shown that modern domestic dogs evolved from a type of gray wolf that does not exist today. This new work suggests that scientists are getting closer to learning more about that unique wolf. The new DNA evidence suggests that it lived in East Asia (not the Middle East or Europe as has been widely suggested) and its wolf line migrated later to Japan. It is still unclear, however, what happened to the line that evolved into dogs. The DNA also showed that there was some interbreeding between the wolf line and the dog line. A prior study has shown that approximately 2% of the DNA from a sled dog that died 10,000 years ago was from the Japanese wolf. The researchers suggest such interbreeding appears to have occurred prior to the Japanese wolf making its way to Japan; thus, it does not appear likely that dogs made their way there until much later. They also note that New Guinea singing dogs and dingoes have the highest amount of Japanese wolf DNA of any modern species, suggesting the wolf migrated great distances.



More information:
Jun Gojobori et al, The Japanese wolf is most closely related to modern dogs and its ancestral genome has been widely inherited by dogs throughout East Eurasia, biorxiv (2021). DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.10.463851

© 2021 Science X Network

Citation:
DNA shows Japanese wolf closest relative of domestic dogs (2021, October 21)
retrieved 21 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-dna-japanese-wolf-closest-relative.html

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