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  • The hidden disaster: Violence in the aftermath of natural disaster
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The hidden disaster: Violence in the aftermath of natural disaster

Source(s):  Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR)

This paper attempts to cover the gap on the reasons domestic violence increases during disaster emergencies. In fact, community members, police, case managers, trauma psychologists and family violence workers empathised with traumatised and suffering men -men who may have been heroes in the fires- and encouraged women to wait it out. These responses compromise the principle that women and children always have the right to live free from violence.

The authors propose the following:

  • Federal, State and local governments need to establish disaster guidelines that include attention to domestic violence as a priority in the aftermath of disasters.
  • Response and prevention strategies must include the involvement of domestic violence services and women.
  • Accurate domestic violence statistics must be recorded by all personnel responding to a disaster such as health and community services and police.
  • Actions by governments would include training in domestic violence identification and referral for all human services personnel involved in disaster response.
  • In the aftermath of disasters, provision of mandatory family counselling could prevent family violence emerging at a later stage.
  • The police should turn attitudes to domestic violence around and break down the barriers to women reporting.

Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2013, pages 28-25. This document is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.



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  • The hidden disaster: Violence in the aftermath of natural disaster
  • Publication date 2013
  • Author(s) Parkinson, D.; Zara, C.
  • Number of pages 8 p.

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