A study published in the Journal of General Psychology contended that Google searches in the United States related to violence against women saw a sharp rise during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shockingly, the search engine was used by a huge number of users to find answers to some horrifying questions.
Reportedly, the study contends that the phrases “How to control your woman” and “how to hit a woman so no one knows” were each googled 165 million times. Similarly problematic phrases such as “Help me, he won’t leave” was allegedly Googled over 1.2 billion times.
The phrase “I am going to kill her when she gets home” was searched 178 million times, an increase of 39 per cent compared to 2019.
It raises concerns about the wider public health costs of a pandemic that has already claimed more than 3 million lives.
The University of Otago study examines the growing volume of Google search queries related to male violence, despondency and insecurity, linking the terms to American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
“He beats me up all the time” had 320 million searches, an increase of 36 per cent.
“These queries gauge Maslow’s basic and psychological needs strata—care, comfort, safety, security, social belonging and esteem—and signal potential threat, harm and violence,” the research says.