Relationships, Stress and Aggression during the COVID-19 crisis in Belgium (RSA)

To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, governments worldwide restricted social and physical contact by issuing lockdown and social-distancing measures. Already  a few weeks after the first COVID-19 realted lockdown being issued in Belgium in March 2020, Prof Keygnaert (UGent-ICHR) and Prof Vandeviver (UGent-IRCP) set up a study on Relationships, Stress and Aggression (RSA) in times of COVID-19 crisis in Belgium. This longitudinal self-reporting study was stopped in July 2020 and got lots of attention as it demonstrated high levels of stress, rather unhealthy ways of coping and a lot of domestic violence occurring in Belgian households. 
As a second wave of COVID-measures and a new lockdown was issued in the second half of 2020 and is still continued to be upheld early 2021, the Secretary of State of Equality and Diversity asked whether the RSA-study could be updated and relaunched. This was done and the new RSA-study was relaunched in January 2021 studying the effects of the restrictive measures of wave 1, wave 2 and upon a year of measures on the health and wellbeing and the occurrence of domestic violence in Belgium.
The methodology consists of a online self-report questionnaire in which the occurrence of domestic violence including psychological, physical and sexual violence, stress, alcohol and drug use, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, self-harming behaviour, and help-seeking behaviour are assessed.

Final report (in Dutch) 

Funding agencies

Institute for Equality of Women and Men


Ms Elke Wuyts, Ms Elizaveta Fomenko, Ms. Lotte De Schrijver, Dr. Anne Nobels, Prof. dr. Ines Keygnaert


Prof. dr. Ines Keygnaert ICRH UGent


- Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (UGhent- IRCP) - Institute for Equality of Women and Men


December 01, 2020 - May 31, 2021

Project status

Project ongoing

Team members

Ms. Elizaveta Fomenko
Ms. Ines Keygnaert




Interpersonal violence
Epidemiological modeling