COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative: Research

Substance Use (SU) among Women in the Context of the Corollary Pandemics of COVID-19 and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Key Messages

Consequent to COVID response measures has been increased help-seeking for intimate partner violence (IPV) and indications of increased substance use (SU). Pandemic responses affect IPV and SU due to social isolation, ‘stay-at-home’ orders, distancing, limited service provision, unemployment, financial stress, loss of routine, additional caregiving and lack of outdoor access. Disasters are associated with IPV increases and disaster planning should include responses to IPV, trauma and mental health issues. IPV and SU are bidirectionally related but IPV impacts long term impacts on mental health, SU and trauma in women. Improved responses and interventions that address IPV and SU in the context of disasters must be developed.


  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Substance Use
  • Pandemic
  • Disaster
  • Isolation
  • Health care providers
  • First responders
  • Trauma


  • Nominated Principal Applicant: Lorraine Greaves PhD, Senior Investigator, Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health
  • Andreea Catalina Brabete
  • Lorraine Greaves
  • Lindsay Wolfson
  • Julie Stinson
  • Sarah Allen
  • Nancy Poole

For more information, please contact: Lorraine Greaves PhD,

Related Syntheses


(External links)

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Lay Summary PDF



Vulnerable or At-Risk Populations, People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) and Substance Use


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