Domestic violence (DV) is a huge social issue and during the COVID-19 pandemic, DV and intimate partner violence (IPV) increased. Frequently imposed quarantine increased contact between perpetrators and victims, potentially leading to underlying increases in the occurrence of violence at home.
Social media sites such as Reddit represent an alternative outlet for disclosing experiences of violence where healthcare access has been limited. This study analysed seven violence-related subreddits to investigate different violence patterns from January 2018 to February 2022, developing a new perspective and methodology for violence research. Specifically, we collected violence-related texts from Reddit using keyword searching and identified six major types of violence with supervised machine learning classifiers: DV, IPV, physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, and nonspecific violence or others. Among IPV-related posts, the number with COVID-related keywords was highest in the middle-pandemic phase.
The findings highlight the importance of the role of social media as a platform for disclosing and describing experiences of violence and support the role of social media site monitoring as a means of informative surveillance for help-providing authorities and violence research groups.
For further information please see: Characterizing the Differences in Descriptions of Violence on Reddit During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Lifang Li, Lilly Neubauer, Robert Stewart, Angus Roberts, 2023 (sagepub.com)
Or contact Lifang at firstname.lastname@example.org or Angus at email@example.com