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Intimate Partner Abuse and Homicide During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Situational Action Theory Analysis

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Treiber, K 


jats:p During the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home restrictions significantly changed people’s daily lives around the world. Opportunity and strain theories predict this would lead to an increase in intimate partner abuse (IPA), including intimate partner homicide (IPH). This paper applies an alternative theoretical framework—situational action theory (SAT)—to explain mixed findings regarding changes in IPA and unexpected findings regarding (a lack of) changes in IPH. It is argued that SAT may contribute to explaining the impact of stay-at-home restrictions on IPA and IPH in three important ways: </jats:p>jats:p 1. by addressing the fact that motivation is necessary but not sufficient for explaining action and better specifying how motivation translates into IPA and IPH; </jats:p>jats:p 2. by addressing the fact that people perceive different alternatives for action and better specifying why some people come to see IPA and IPH as acceptable action alternatives; </jats:p>jats:p 3. by addressing the fact that exposure affects people differently and better specifying how stay-at-home restrictions shaped people’s activity fields and, in turn, their perceptions and action choices. </jats:p>



48 Law and Legal Studies, 4805 Legal Systems, 4402 Criminology, 44 Human Society, Clinical Research, 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice

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SAGE Publications