Psychological and Psychiatric Problems among Women — Victims of Domestic Violence and Their Peculiarities during the COVID-19 Lockdown (Scientific Review)



The review is dedicated to analysis of Russian and foreign publications studying psychological and psychiatric problems of the women subjected to domestic violence. Specifics of this phenomenon emerging during the COVID-19 pandemic have been shown. The upsurge in domestic violence is caused by factors such as uncertainty about the current situation and the future, deterioration in social and material well-being, restricted social contacts, use of psychoactive substances. Women have little or no access to help from social institutions (outpatient clinics, social welfare centers including shelters for victims of domestic violence, educational institutions for children, churches), which becomes a complicating factor. Due to enforced lockdowns, violence in families is becoming a widespread "hidden" epidemic, "a pandemic in the pandemic times". Typical effects of domestic violence are adjustment disorders, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, addiction to psychoactive substances. The most unfavourable outcome is hetero- and autoaggressive behavior, right up to committing "extended suicide" by a domestic violence victim (not only taking the victim's own life but also killing her children for pseudoaltruistic reasons). The data pertaining prevention of domestic violence and aiding its victims have been summarized.

General Information

Keywords: domestic violence, mental disorders, acute stress response, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive reactions, COVID-19 coronavirus infection, lockdown

Journal rubric: Forensic and Clinical Psychology in Legal Context


Funding. The reported study has been conducted with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research as part of research project no. 20-113-501222/20.

For citation: Kachaeva M.A., Shishkina O.A. Psychological and Psychiatric Problems among Women — Victims of Domestic Violence and Their Peculiarities during the COVID-19 Lockdown (Scientific Review) [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2021. Vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 131–155. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2021110310. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Margarita A. Kachaeva, Doctor of Medicine, Professor, Chief Researcher, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Center of Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga A. Shishkina, PhD in Medicine, Forensic Psychiatrist, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Center of Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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