Shedding light on the “Shadow Pandemic”: Developing a research agenda on gender-based violence during and after COVID-19

Sarah Kaplan, Rotman School of Management; Beverley Essue, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Before COVID-19, violence against cis and trans women, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people was already a crisis. Globally, the pandemic intensified this crisis through job loss, financial insecurity, and quarantining measures. The United Nations deemed this pandemic-fueled rise in violence as a “shadow pandemic,” with marginalized communities, including low-income, Indigenous, racialized, and LGBT+ people, facing increased risks and worse outcomes from gender-based violence (GBV).

This project will address the IfP theme of pandemic recovery through the development of research collaborations themed on GBV and pandemic recovery to define and address the effects of this “shadow pandemic.” The project objectives are: 1) define the economic and social impacts of the pandemic-fueled rise in GBV on communities facing marginalization, 2) identify the types of policy interventions that will help society recover from increased GBV and prevent rising GBV in future pandemics and more generally.

To meet these objectives, we will 1) convene researchers, community workers, and policymakers in a workshop to share their GBV research and insights across sectors, facilitate connections and develop a research agenda, 2) translate insights from the workshop to policymakers and the public, and 3) form the basis for new multi-disciplinary projects on GBV and pandemic recovery. 

The outcomes will be 1) groundwork for a research network themed on GBV and pandemic recovery, including a future research agenda and the potential for new multi-disciplinary projects, and 2) resources for policymakers, the public, and other stakeholders based on workshop insights, including a research overview and multimedia outputs.