Jaarrapport zorgcentra na seksueel geweld in België 2020

Auteurs & affiliatie

Lisa Fomenko, Saar Baert, Ines Keygnaert


The COVID-19-pandemic left no one untouched. Worldwide people were asked to stay home, restrict their movements and drastically minimize social contacts. In the first months, Belgian hospitals cancelled or postponed regular care for non-COVID patients. Meanwhile, many patients avoided the care services themselves out of fear of being infected or by trying to relieve the burden on caregivers. The experts’ fear for the consequences that the lockdown might entail on help-seeking behaviour came true. Although the Belgian Sexual Assault Care Centres (SACC) stayed open, the admissions dropped with 40% between March and May 2020. Such lack of support can cause serious health problems in the victims. After the first lockdown, victims found their way back to the SACC with an increase of 120% admissions as compared to the usual average. To drop yet again, during the second lockdown. This yo-yo-like influx is not due to a dramatic decrease in sexual violence by an unknown perpetrator, as the proportion of unknown perpetrators only dropped with 10%. Besides, the victims that did find their way to the SACC reported more physical violence, were more likely to report revictimization and the proportion of young children (<12 years) increased significantly. As the victims came back after lockdown, with the usual delay of presentation, we suspect many of them to have been locked up in domestic violence. The aim of this study is to detect which profiles were less likely to seek help during lockdown-measures. Multiple comparisons will be made, using mostly chi-square-tests between different periods being 1) before the first lockdown, 2) first lockdown, 3) between the first and second lockdown and 4) second lockdown to spot differences in socio-demographic characteristics of the victims and characteristics of the sexual violence. This analysis could lead to more tailored interventions connecting help seekers with care givers.




Saar Baert
Ines Keygnaert

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