The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on help-seeking behaviours of Indigenous and Black women experiencing intimate partner violence in the United States

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This article is focused on understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on populations at highest risk for intimate partner violence in its most severe forms.

Data Sources

Literature sources range from 2010 to 2022. The article is also informed by the experiences of scholars and advocates working with Indigenous and Black women experiencing intimate partner violence in Wisconsin. In our write-up, we draw on Indigenous feminism and Black feminist thought.

Implications for Nursing

Help seeking is contextual. The context in which help seeking occurs or does not occur for Indigenous and Black women, due to the barriers we discuss is vital for nurses to understand in order to provide efficient and meaningful nursing care.


Our goal is to center the nursing profession in a leadership position in addressing the complex and unique needs of Indigenous and Black women who experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence and also experience the greatest barriers to care and support.


We seek to contribute theory-driven knowledge that informs the work of nurses who are often the first to encounter survivors of intimate partner violence within the clinical setting. Help-seeking is often hindered by factors such as geographic and jurisdictional, economic, and structural response barriers. This knowledge will enhance nurses' ability to lead and advocate for clinical practice and policies that minimize the barriers women experience following intimate partner violence, especially during pandemics, disasters, and other extraordinary circumstances.

Public Contributions

This article is based on the collaboration of community advocates, nurse scientists, and public health scholars, who work closely with Indigenous and Black survivors of violence and seek to meet their needs and offer them meaningful support.