According to statistics of the Federal Criminal Police Office, the numbers of intimate partner violence increased from 2021 to 2022. Nevertheless, Prof. Steinert points out that this is only the tip of the iceberg because many of those affected by violence, mostly women, do not turn to help hotlines or the police. Reasons for this may be a still existing stigmatization of the topic and a sense of shame as well as financial fears and insecurities.
No scientific studies are yet available on the causal explanations for the current increase. However, previous empirical studies have shown that economic and financial worries are among the greatest risk factors for intimate partner violence. Thus, the increase in violence reports in 2022 could presumably be explained intensifying financial pressures due to the Ukraine crisis.
Prof. Steinert also discusses the role that social media may play in spreading harmful misogynistic content and thus in “normalizing” partner abuse. Lastly, she points to potentially effective strategies for the prevention of intimate partner violence and highlights that interventions should be designed holistically, target both survivors and perpetrators, and address wider gender norms. The entire interview is available on the webpage of the WDR3 for re-listening and as a download.
For further information on the topic you can watch a Prof. Steinerts video interview for the public-service television channel Phoenix and listen to the her radio interview with the public-service radio station of the NDR .
You can learn more about Prof. Steinerts research on Intimate Partner Violence at the project website "The Impact of COVID-19 on Violence against Women and Children in Germany", access the projects lay summary there or read the research paper as an open-access pdf on the website of the Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (iris.) of the WHO.