AccScience Publishing / IJPS / Volume 10 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/ijps.367
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Social context of intimate partner violence and system response during COVID-19 in Africa: A scoping review

Ojo M. Agunbiade1* Akanni I. Akinyemi2 Oluwaseun I. Obasola3 Jacob W. Mobolaji2 John O. Abe2 Opeyemi O. Ekundayo4 Taofeek K. Aliyu2 Olutoyin O. Ikuteyijo5 Oladimeji R. Ogunoye6 Lanre O. Ikuteyijo1
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1 Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria
2 Department of Demography and Social Statistics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria
3 Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria
4 Department of Psychology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria
5 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss TPH, Basel University, Nigeria
6 Department of English Language, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria
IJPS 2024, 10(1), 45–57;
Submitted: 19 September 2022 | Accepted: 1 December 2023 | Published: 29 December 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

Intimate partner violence (IPV) stands as a global social and public health crisis deeply rooted in extensive social and cultural contexts. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected social interactions. This scoping review aims to synthesize evidence on the social contexts of IPV and system responses to COVID-19 in Africa. Adhering to the Arksey and O’Malley (2005) approach, refined by the Joanna Briggs Institute (2020), this review encompassed relevant literature from bibliographic databases, institutional websites, and electronic libraries from January 2020 to December 2021. The search was executed in three phases across databases, including Social Science Database and Sociological Abstract (through EBSCO), Africa Journal Archive, ProQuest (Coronavirus Research Library; Middle East and Africa Collection; Psychology, Sociology, and Social Science Database), and Google Scholar, also extended to the World Bank e-Library, the BBC portal, and pertinent websites. Briggs’s (2020) recommendations guided the screening, focusing exclusively on English language articles. Convergent synthesis of extracted information utilized thematic analysis and, when applicable, descriptive statistics. Of the 14 articles meeting inclusion criteria, results revealed varied incidences of IPV during the COVID-19 pandemic, encompassing emotional, economic, and violence among minors. Women’s experiences of daily IPV realities during the outbreak and lockdown hinged on contextual factors and relationship dynamics. Emotional and economic violence was predominant, with limited IPV cases among minors. State and non-state responses were inadequate, reactionary, and insufficiently transformative for the complex emergency posed by COVID-19 on livelihoods and intimate relationships. Pre-existing IPV instances lacked sensitivity in the preparedness and measures for gender inequalities within intimate relationships. While IPV was reported, both state and non-state actors exhibited notably deficient responsiveness.

Intimate partner violence
Lockdown measures
Social contexts
System responses

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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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International Journal of Population Studies, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8606 Print ISSN: 2424-8150, Published by AccScience Publishing