2020-08-11 Sarnquist Receives COVID RISE Grant

Clea Sarnquist, DrPH MPH

August 11, 2020

Clea Sarnquist, DrPH, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, has been awarded a Stanford RISE- Respond, Innovate, Scale, Empower- COVID-19 Crisis Response Faculty Seed Grant. Her project, "Minimizing violence against women and children during COVID-19 and beyond" is a collaboration with Hellen Barsosio, MBChB, Msc, Senior Research Officer at  the Kenya Medical Research Institute's Centre for Global Health Research.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the associated policies to contain its spread, exacerbate the already-enormous violence against women and children globally, creating a second, “shadow pandemic”, that threatens the health and wellbeing of huge populations worldwide. Increased violence has already been reported in many countries, and the likelihood of a severe and potentially devastating increase in violence only climbs as isolation and economic strain worsen. This rise in violence has also been seen in Kenya, where the national violence hotline has recorded an increase in call volume, and those cases that are reported are undoubtedly only a small part of the entire number, as reporting is also more difficult with a perpetrator constantly in the household.

Researchers will collect data with both adolescent girls and young women, one of the most at-risk groups for violence, as well as service providers about how to provide voence prevention and care services in the COVID-19 setting. Next, they will implement and test a few small services changes, as well as begin to identify and implement one or more larger interventions, likely in telehealth. The lessons learned will be applicable to other low-resource settings (and beyond) around the globe, and will be disseminated quickly, working with other organizations and researchers in this space to advocate for these and similar measures in policy and programmatic responses in a variety of communities.