Mental Health Crisis: Interpersonal Violence During COVID-19 Experience


Ndung'u Ikenye


This paper focuses on the contemporary problem of Interpersonal Violence in Kenyan marriages and families, especially during the COVID-19 experience, and more so in the quarantine period. The paper takes the perspective that the multiple forms of violence in Kenya are a mental health crisis. This mental health problem of interpersonal violence in the Kenyan society is mirrored in marriages and family, and that during the quarantine period violence and mental health issues became a crisis. This qualitative research is a reviews literation from authors and scholars, who wrote during COVID -19. This mental health crisis focused on problems of abuse in physical, sexual, mental, behavioral and emotional systems of living. This paper uses Bowen Family Systems theory and is applied to violence in marriage and family during COVID -19, thus this theory is applied as a cross-cultural and multicultural context. Interpersonal violence as proposed in this paper is a trans generational system by transmission; from traditional African society, and through modern, colonial and postmodern periods and systems; and into the era of COVID- 19. Using Bowen’s Systems Theory, the study showed that under the stresses of COVID -19 (Mental Health Crisis), these systems of interpersonal violence as trans generational transmission of societal pathologies were more exaggerated. This study concluded that the oppressed and abused become perpetrators of interpersonal violence (though trans generational, cultural and ethnic systems of transmission) and also under stressors such as COVID- 19. The study also concludes that the best practices of counseling to marital and family systems must break the cycles of violence, abuse and oppression (from national to marital and familial systems).


How to Cite
Ikenye, N. (2022). Mental Health Crisis: Interpersonal Violence During COVID-19 Experience. African Multidisciplinary Journal of Research, 7(2), 65–88. Retrieved from