Research in Brief: Domestic Violence Calls for Service

At the Commission’s second meeting, BYU researchers Assistant Professors Emily Leslie and Riley Wilson, presented their findings on trends in domestic violence calls for service to police. The study, which focused on data from 14 American cities, found:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to a 9.7% increase in domestic violence calls for service during March and April, starting before state-level stay-at-home mandates began. Applied nationally, this finding means there were approximately 1,330 more domestic violence calls for service per day across the U.S. during the time period.
  • The increase was evident across a broad range of demographic and socioeconomic groups.
  • Households without a recent history of domestic violence calls for service were a driving factor behind the increase in domestic violence calls.
  • Pervasive economic stress as well as disrupted or strained routines may have played a role in the increase, but the data did not enable researchers to draw firm conclusions.