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Helping men, women and children

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

Disasters, like the current bushfires in Australia, place pressure on men to be silent and stoic protectors, which makes them reluctant to seek help. What does this mean for families in such terrible times?

Evidence shows that men may fear career penalties if they seek psychological help after disasters. For women, there’s an expectation that they will put their own needs last to support their husbands, partners and families who may be traumatised from fighting fires and protecting homes. Some women face increased or new domestic violence and, in a post-disaster context, there is even greater pressure for them to remain silent about it.

For the massive fires across the country over Christmas and New Year, anecdotal reports were coming through early that relationship pressure and domestic violence were occurring. Increased family violence during disasters can be prevented or reduced if community members and health professionals are aware of this likelihood and know how to respond constructively. With widespread disruption to face-to-face services, it is important to remind men, women and children of the helplines available. The ‘Disaster is no excuse for family violence’ postcard provides a simple four-step process related to family violence and provides information about support services.

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  • Helping men, women and children
  • Publication date 2017
  • Author(s) Parkinson, Debra
  • Number of pages 1 p.

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