Our objective was to understand experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) by survivors living through the COVID-19 pandemic in a rural area.
Structured interviewswere conducted with a purposive sample of IPV survivors, 93% of whom identified as women, living in a rural parish (county) in Louisiana (n = 41). Interviews included COVID-19-related stressors (e.g., rent stress due to the pandemic) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Primary Care PTSD Screen for DSM-5) and resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale 10) validated scales. Data were analyzed using independent t tests to determine differences across race with respect to PTSD and resilience and logistic regression to predict group membership in the probable PTSD group.
Results indicate 72.5% and 56.2% of rural IPV survivors interviewed reported experiencing rent/mortgage stress and nutritional stress, respectively, due to the pandemic. No statistically significant differences by race for probable PTSD or resilience were found. Rent or mortgage stress due to COVID-19 was a significant predictor of probable PTSD in the regression model.
Findings suggest the possibility that IPV concerns may exacerbate pandemic-related concerns, which in turn exacerbates health functioning.