Violence is common and increasing in pandemic-era California
The annual CalVEX survey measures charges of bodily, sexual and intimate associate violence amongst Californians. Credit score: UC San Diego Well being Sciences

Violence is on the rise in California, with vital will increase noticed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with the newest annual report from the California Research on Violence Experiences throughout the Lifespan (CalVEX). Led by researchers at College of California San Diego Faculty of Medication, CalVEX is the nation’s solely multi-year statewide evaluation of violent experiences.

The findings, shared in a public report on September 8, 2022, reveal that multiple in six Californians (18 p.c) skilled bodily or sexual up to now yr, and one in each 25 Californians skilled . Charges of each bodily and sexual violence have elevated for the reason that begin of the pandemic, with bodily violence practically doubling for males from 2020 to 2022. Additional demographic disparities spotlight potential contributing elements which will have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“Californians are experiencing violence at epidemic proportions,” mentioned principal investigator Anita Raj, Ph.D., professor at College of California San Diego Faculty of Medication and Division of Social Sciences. “Present violence prevention efforts are clearly woefully insufficient and infrequently ignore the gendered nature of violence, its intersections with different socioeconomic vulnerabilities and its disproportionate results on marginalized populations.”

Nearly all of victims by no means formally report these experiences, so researchers say counting on felony justice information or to look at the state of violence usually fails to seize the true breadth of abuses. As a substitute, CalVEX surveys a consultant pattern of adults throughout the state and makes use of their responses to estimate inhabitants charges. Information within the newest report have been collected in March 2022 from 2,285 adults.

The outcomes reveal varied gender disparities within the expertise and perpetration of violence. Males are extra doubtless than ladies to have confronted bodily violence, whereas ladies are extra doubtless than males to have skilled many types of sexual violence. Whereas greater than 1.5 million adults in California admit to committing acts of sexual violence up to now yr, males have been greater than two occasions as doubtless as ladies to report that they perpetrated and intimate associate violence.

Ladies additionally confirmed higher impacts and life disruptions as a consequence of violent experiences, with 82 p.c of reporting anxiousness or melancholy on account of bodily aggressive, coercive or pressured sexual habits. Ladies who reported have been additionally twice as doubtless as males to overlook work or college in addition to change or stop a job.

Socially and economically weak Californians—together with Latino and Black communities, LGBTQ communities, individuals with a historical past of homelessness or incarceration, and other people residing with a incapacity—additionally confronted disproportionate ranges of violence. Experiences of economic misery, together with eviction and meals or housing insecurity, have been related to a two to eight occasions elevated danger of violence.

“Our findings counsel the rising charges of violence are linked to the harsher social local weather, financial insecurity, and poorer bodily and psychological well being that many Californians have skilled over the previous few years because of the pandemic,” mentioned Raj.

The researchers advocate for brand spanking new insurance policies that strengthen social and financial security nets, applications in violence prevention, and throughout the state. Such a multi-level strategy, Raj says, wouldn’t solely tackle the present violence disaster, but additionally assist post-pandemic rebuilding and make the state extra resilient to different well being, environmental and socioeconomic stressors to come back.

Co-authors of the report embody Nicole E. Johns, Nabamallika Dehingia, Wendy Wei Chang and Jennifer Yore, all at UC San Diego.


Greater than 80% say they’ve skilled violence in junior sports activities, particularly ladies and gender-diverse individuals


Extra data:
The annual report is obtainable right here as a PDF.

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Violence is widespread and growing in pandemic-era California (2022, September 8)
retrieved 8 September 2022
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