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‘Everything Became a Struggle, Absolute Struggle’: Post-Flood Increases in Domestic Violence in New Zealand

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... In countries similar to Australia, evidence reveals that domestic violence and child abuse increase in the wake of disasters (Anastario, Shehab, & Lawry, 2009;Clemens, Hietala, Rytter, Schmidt, & Reese, 1999;Enarson, 1999;Fothergill, 1999;Houghton, 2009b;Jenkins & Phillips, 2008b;Schumacher et al., 2010). ...
... In this explanation, what appeared to be new domestic violence was, in fact, an extension of preexisting power and control behavior (Enarson, 2012). Houghton (2009b) suggests that men's use of domestic violence can change from psychological and economic to physical for the first time when trying to regain a sense of control after disaster. Supporting this theory, through postdisaster counseling, some women became aware that there had always been elements of power and control in the relationship. ...
... This was facilitated by women's increased fear and insecurity. Shelters emptied after the Twin Towers terrorist attacks on 9/11 as women sought the comfort of family and familiarity (Enarson, 2012), and after the 2004 Whakatane floods in New Zealand, 85% of women who sought refuge assistance returned to violent partners (Houghton, 2009b). Add to this that women may have been suffering posttraumatic stress disorder, homelessness, unemployment, lacking child care, and schools and having to negotiate grants and rebuilding-all stressful and conflict-ridden (Fordham, 2008). ...
Article
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Interviews with 30 women in two shires in Victoria, Australia, confirmed that domestic violence increased following the catastrophic Black Saturday bushfires on February 7, 2009. As such research is rare, it addresses a gap in the disaster and interpersonal violence literature. The research that exists internationally indicates that increased violence against women is characteristic of a postdisaster recovery in developing countries. The relative lack of published research from primary data in developed countries instead reflects our resistance to investigating or recognizing increased male violence against women after disasters in developed countries. This article begins with an overview of this literature. The primary research was qualitative, using in-depth semistructured interviews to address the research question of whether violence against women increased in the Australian context. The sample of 30 women was aged from 20s to 60s. Recruitment was through flyers and advertisements, and interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and checked by participants. Analysis was inductive, using modified grounded theory. Seventeen women gave accounts of new or increased violence from male partners that they attribute to the disaster. A key finding is that, not only is there both increased and new domestic violence but formal reporting will not increase in communities unwilling to hear of this hidden disaster. Findings are reported within a framework of three broad explanations. In conclusion, although causation is not claimed, it is important to act on the knowledge that increased domestic violence and disasters are linked.
... In countries similar to Australia, evidence reveals that domestic violence, child abuse and divorce all increase in the wake of disasters (Anastario, Shehab, & Lawry, 2009;Clemens, Hietala, Rytter, Schmidt, & Reese, 1999;Enarson, 1999;Fothergill, 1999;Houghton, 2009b;Jenkins & Phillips, 2008b;Schumacher et al., 2010). In the United States, a 2009 study (Anastario et al., 2009) showed a four-fold increase in intimate partner violence in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (Phillips, 2011). ...
... In her analysis of female mortality in disasters worldwide, Fothergill (1998) Other women may have no choice but to rely on abusive partners to keep a roof over their heads, both during and after disasters (Fothergill, 1999;Fothergill, 2008;Houghton, 2009b;Jenkins & Phillips, 2008a). Ignorance of this vulnerability by community and emergency management endangers women (Fothergill, 2008;Phillips, Jenkins et al., 2010;Wilson, Phillips, & Neal, 1998 ...
... In 2008, research on domestic violence after disaster in the developed world was almost non-existent, leaving the question of whether domestic violence increases post-disaster largely unanswered (Clemens et al., 1999;Fothergill, 1999;Fothergill, 2008;Jenkins & Phillips, 2008b). Such research remains scarce (Caruana, 2009;Forbes & Creamer, 2009;Houghton, 2009a;Houghton, 2009b;Sety, 2012). Qualitative data sourced through women's participation, in particular, is rare. ...
Thesis
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This thesis documents the first Australian research to interview women about their experiences of domestic violence after catastrophic disaster. As such research is rare in developed countries, it addresses a gap in the disaster literature. Interviews with 30 women in two shires in Victoria confirmed that domestic violence increased following the Black Saturday bushfires on 7th February, 2009. The scant research that exists internationally indicates that not only is the notion of ‘women and children first’ a myth, but that women are disproportionally affected by disasters primarily as a result of their poverty relative to men and prescribed gender roles. This research found that women experiencing increased male violence were silenced in preference of supporting suffering men – men who had been heroes in the fires or were traumatised or unemployed as a result of the disaster. The silencing was evident in the lack of statistics on domestic violence in the aftermath of Black Saturday, the neglect of this issue in recovery and reconstruction operations, and the responses to women’s reports of violence against them by legal, community and health professionals. Three broad explanations for increased domestic violence after Black Saturday are identified – drawn from empirical findings from the field and the research literature. Theoretical concepts from two disparate fields – sacrifice and male privilege – help to explain a key finding that women’s right to live free from violence is conditional. Indeed, the aftermath of Black Saturday presents Australians with the opportunity to see how deeply embedded misogyny is and how fragile our attempts to criminalise domestic violence and hold violent men accountable for their actions. The post-disaster period – characterised as it is by men in uniforms on the ground working, saving, rescuing and restoring; powerful imagery about the role of wives and mothers; increased violence by men; mandatory care-loads for women; and the suffering of good men – presents fertile ground for the fortification of male hegemony. Yet, post-disaster change does not have to be regressive, reinstating and reinforcing the traditional inequitable structure – a structure that has high costs for men and women. An emergency management response to disaster that has embedded gender equity at all levels, together with education of communities on the contribution of strict gender roles to suffering in disaster’s aftermath, could exemplify and hasten a more equal society where men’s violence against women is rare.
... Este efecto de lejanía ilusoria en sus consecuencias puede interferir en la percepción del impacto del cc en las desigualdades de género en un sistema global en el que toda mujer está expuesta a las amenazas de un cc machista, clasista y racista. Existen ejemplos como las lluvias torrenciales sufridas en 2004 en Whakatane, Nueva Zelanda, donde las organizaciones de ayuda a las mujeres y la infancia víctimas de la violencia de género 3 -Women´s Refuge y Work and Income New Zeland-triplicaron su trabajo inmediatamente después del desastre (Houghton, 2009). En el caso de Europa, la mortalidad aumentó en todos los países que sufrieron la excepcionalmente larga y severa ola de calor acontecida en 2003. ...
... 3 En Nueva Zelanda se reconoce como violencia doméstica la violencia entre compañeros íntimos y demás familiares (Houghton, 2009). 4 La Dirección General de Tráfico del Gobierno de España (http://www.dgt.es/es/seguridadvial/estadisticas-e-indicadores/censo-conductores/ ...
Article
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Resumen: La investigación educativa en torno a la educación ambiental y la enseñanza de las ciencias identifica diferencias en el conocimiento de mujeres y hombres sobre tópicos científicos y ambientales, siendo mayor el conocimiento declarado por ellos. Igualmente, las mujeres suelen percibir un mayor grado de riesgo ante eventos que conllevan peligros. Este artículo presenta un estudio de casos con población estudiantil mexicana (N= 300) y española (N= 300) de entre 15 y 18 años, para explorar estas premisas. Se empleó un cuestionario de respuesta cerrada sobre conocimientos y riesgos del cambio climático. Los resultados no permiten establecer una relación causal entre género, conocimientos y percepciones, aunque sí permiten visibilizar que el género, como construcción social y cultural, influye en la adquisición de ciertos conocimientos y en la valoración de riesgos. Abstract: Educational research on environmental education and science teaching identifies differences in men's and women's knowledge of scientific and environmental topics. Men declare having greater knowledge, and women tend to perceive greater risk in events involving hazards. This article explores these premises through a case study of a group of students in Mexico (N= 300) and in Spain (N= 300), ages 15-18. The students answered closed-ended questions about their knowledge and the risks of climate change. The results do not permit establishing a causal relationship between gender and knowledge or perceptions, although they reveal that gender, as a social and cultural construction, influences the acquisition of certain knowledge and the assessment of risks.
... Este efecto de lejanía ilusoria en sus consecuencias puede interferir en la percepción del impacto del cc en las desigualdades de género en un sistema global en el que toda mujer está expuesta a las amenazas de un cc machista, clasista y racista. Existen ejemplos como las lluvias torrenciales sufridas en 2004 en Whakatane, Nueva Zelanda, donde las organizaciones de ayuda a las mujeres y la infancia víctimas de la violencia de género 3 -Women´s Refuge y Work and Income New Zeland-triplicaron su trabajo inmediatamente después del desastre (Houghton, 2009). En el caso de Europa, la mortalidad aumentó en todos los países que sufrieron la excepcionalmente larga y severa ola de calor acontecida en 2003. ...
... 3 En Nueva Zelanda se reconoce como violencia doméstica la violencia entre compañeros íntimos y demás familiares (Houghton, 2009). 4 La Dirección General de Tráfico del Gobierno de España (http://www.dgt.es/es/seguridadvial/estadisticas-e-indicadores/censo-conductores/ ...
Article
Full-text available
Resumen: La investigación educativa en torno a la educación ambiental y la enseñanza de las ciencias identifica diferencias en el conocimiento de mujeres y hombres sobre tópicos científicos y ambientales, siendo mayor el conocimiento declarado por ellos. Igualmente, las mujeres suelen percibir un mayor grado de riesgo ante eventos que conllevan peligros. Este artículo presenta un estudio de casos con población estudiantil mexicana (N= 300) y española (N= 300) de entre 15 y 18 años, para explorar estas premisas. Se empleó un cuestionario de respuesta cerrada sobre conocimientos y riesgos del cambio climático. Los resultados no permiten establecer una relación causal entre género, conocimientos y percepciones, aunque sí permiten visibilizar que el género, como construcción social y cultural, influye en la adquisición de ciertos conocimientos y en la valoración de riesgos. Abstract: Educational research on environmental education and science teaching identifies differences in men's and women's knowledge of scientific and environmental topics. Men declare having greater knowledge, and women tend to perceive greater risk in events involving hazards. This article explores these premises through a case study of a group of students in Mexico (N= 300) and in Spain (N= 300), ages 15-18. The students answered closed-ended questions about their knowledge and the risks of climate change. The results do not permit establishing a causal relationship between gender and knowledge or perceptions, although they reveal that gender, as a social and cultural construction, influences the acquisition of certain knowledge and the assessment of risks.
... Both men and women, but especially women, face increased workload and this leads to nervous breakdowns and depression. Australia's ten-year drought in the Murray-Darling Basin showed a distinctly different effect on women with regard to depression, especially when there was absolute reliance on agriculture with no substitute means of livelihood (Alston & Whittenbury, 2014 (Houghton, 2009). The main reason was that when families were affected by financial loss, women became the target of frustration and depression. ...
Thesis
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In the growing field of research on the impacts of climate change on human populations, there is an absence of academic study on the viewpoints of Pakistani women. By geographical location, Pakistan is central to concerns about climate change and natural hazards, the future consequences of which may affect billions of people across the Asian continent. At the same time, it is becoming clear that many climate change effects are gender-specific, impacting most heavily on those women who are already socially and economically disempowered. However, few studies have been done about women’s experiences before, during, and after natural hazards, nor how they perceive conditions, receive information, or participate in dialogue about anthropogenic climate change. This study aims to give voice to literate and semi-literate, urban and rural Pakistani women as a significant source of knowledge and risk reduction potential regarding climate change, natural hazards, and disasters. A triangulation of quantitative and qualitative methods was used to gauge Pakistani women’s awareness of anthropogenic climate change, discover their usage and the effectiveness of media/non-media sources of information, and assess their current and potential future participation in climate change intervention, mitigation, and rehabilitation. Interviews conducted with academic, political, and policy-making experts confirmed that the opinions, knowledge, and ideas of Pakistani women are currently missing from the climate change conversation. The results of the study reveal that Pakistani women from all levels of society are a tremendously under-utilized resource in the struggle to address global climate change and its consequential disaster-related harm and loss. The results of the study suggest that creating awareness and providing systematic education to Pakistani women through the media about climate change, natural hazards and disaster risk reduction, as well as creating and empowering culture/gender-appropriate communication pathways, could significantly mitigate and reduce the current and future destructive impacts of climate change and natural hazards.
... Economically, increases in violence require governments to take actions-governments will need to arrange safeguarding for people affected by violence either by keeping them in isolated places or providing them some form of security-and doing so demands investment, itself another potential economic hazard (Heath 2012;Houghton 2009). Consistent with the literature suggesting that intimate partner violence rates are highest in the poorest neighborhoods (Bonomi et al. 2014;Kiss et al. 2012), Covid-19 is expected to drive domestic violence across societies due to losses in income (Purvin 2003;Williams and Mickelson 2004). ...
Article
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Purpose: We intend to identify the links between Covid-19 and domestic violence, expose the potential reasons behind an increase in domestic violence cases due to Covid-19, and argue that rising incidence of domestic violence may lead to economic and social crisis. Method: This is a brief note in which authors rely on various statistics and insights regarding domestic violence since the detection of Covid-19. Based on the available statistics regarding domestic violence prevalence during previous times of uncertainty, the number and nature of domestic violence incidents around the globe, and existing literature, the authors argue that clear links exist between Covid-19 and domestic violence, which also impacts on the economic and social crisis. Results: Countries across the world are battling Covid-19 by enacting measures to reduce the speed of transmission. Multiple reports, however, suggest that such measures are increasing the incidence of domestic violence and not only in number but also in severity. We find that layoffs, loss of income, extended domestic stays, and exposure to habits due to stay-at-home orders are driving up the incidence of domestic violence. Moreover, these domestic violence increases are driving economic and social crises due to the form and severity of the violence, the burden placed on government, a crisis of resources, and decreases in the productivity of workforces. Conclusion: Domestic violence increase resulting from Covid-19 is an indirect driver of economic and social crisis. This brief note proposes certain policy changes and strategies required to reduce domestic violence incidence during this turbulent time.
... In the USA, Europe, and South Korea, the elderly, children, and persons of lower socioeconomic status have a heightened risk of heat-related mortality (Baccini et al., 20082013). Increased gender-based violence within households is reported as an indirect social consequence of climate-related disasters, as well as slow-onset climate events, owing to greater stress and tension, loss and grief, and disrupted safety nets, reported for Australia (Anderson, 2009;Alston, 2011;Parkinson et al., 2011;Hazeleger, 2013;Whittenbury, 2013), New Zealand (Houghton, 2009), the USA (Jenkins and Phillips, 2008;Anastario et al., 2009), Vietnam (Campbell et al., 2009), and Bangladesh (Pouliotte et al., 2009).Saito, 2009;Bradshaw, 2010). Some disaster relief structures that lack facilities appropriate for women may contribute to increased harm and mortality (WorldBank, 2010). ...
Chapter
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Scope, Delineations, and Definitions: Livelihoods, Poverty, and Inequality Understanding the impacts of climate change on livelihoods and poverty requires examining the complexities of poverty and the lives of poor and non-poor people, as well as the multifaceted and cross-scalar intersections of poverty and livelihoods with climate change. This chapter is devoted to exploring poverty in relation to climate change, a novelty in the IPCC. It uses a livelihood lens to assess the interactions between climate change and multiple dimensions of poverty. We use the term "the poor," not to homogenize, but to describe people living in poverty, people facing multiple deprivations, and the socially and economically disadvantaged, as part of a conceptualization broader than income-based measures of poverty, acknowledging gradients of prosperity and poverty. This livelihood lens also reveals how inequalities perpetuate poverty to shape differential vulnerabilities and in turn the differentiated impacts of climate change on individuals and societies. The chapter first presents the concepts of livelihoods, poverty, and inequality, and their relationships to each other and to climate change. Second, it describes observed impacts of weather events and climate on livelihoods and rural and urban poor people as well as projected impacts up to 2100. We use "weather events and climate" as an umbrella term for climate change, climate variability, and extreme events, and also highlight subtle shifts in precipitation and localized weather events. Third, this chapter discusses impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation responses on livelihoods and poverty. Finally, it outlines implications for poverty alleviation efforts and climate-resilient development pathways. Livelihoods and Poverty is a new chapter in the AR5. Although the WGII AR4 contributions mentioned poverty, as one of several non-climatic factors contributing to vulnerability, as a serious obstacle to effective adaptation, and in the context of endemic poverty in Africa (Chapters 7, 8, 18, 20), no systematic assessment was undertaken.
... Vulnerability is thus better understood as embedded in social processes and relations that lead to differential impacts for hazard affected persons [7,78,82,96]. Empirical evidence of gendered impacts of disasters has been further captured through mainly qualitative studies of disasters, supported at times with survey data [9][10][11][12][13]103,44,6,87,20,43,72,[34][35][36][37][38][39][40][45][46][47]74,25,4,3,99,50,[67][68][69][70]. ...
Article
UK and wider EU governments follow gender neutral policies in their disaster planning and management based upon a misconception that the gender gap has been eliminated. Findings from our quantitative and qualitative research, carried out as a part of an EU Project, ‘MICRODIS’, in two flood affected locations in England (Tewkesbury floods of 2007, and Morpeth floods of 2008), challenges this notion, revealing that disasters can have paradoxically equal and yet differentiated gendered impacts. Our findings highlight some of the more subtle ways that disasters differentially impacted women and men. It shows that although the degree of mental health recovery of affected men and women was mostly equal, they mobilised different recovery strategies, mostly consistent with their traditional gendered norms and socially constructed roles. Women's recovery strategies were mainly aligned with emotional notions of care, while men's were with notions of control. These findings also show that gendered identities, home-neighbourhood place attachment, and mental wellbeing are related in complex ways. Temporary displacement from their home-neighbourhood places after floods were traumatic for both men and women, although there were perceptible differences in this experience. The paper concludes that gender difference in disasters is ubiquitous globally, and thus analyses must include a gender and diversity analysis and ask more probing gender questions, even in apparently gender equal societies, in order to uncover sometimes hidden impacts.
... For instance, disasters may affect changes in intimate partner relationships through reduced marital satisfaction (Banford, Wickrama, Brown, & Ketring, 2011), increased aggressive methods of conflict resolution (Harville et al., 2011), or strained communication between intimate partners (Lowe, Rhodes, & Scoglio, 2012). Others have noted the increases in post-disaster stressors such as housing and financial disruptions (Sety, 2012) and unemployment (Lowe et al., 2012) often contribute to increased rates of IPV (Enarson, 1999;Frasier et al., 2004;Houghton, 2009). ...
Article
Disasters, both natural and human-caused, can generate significant stressors for individuals, families, and communities, and research has documented an increase in the prevalence and severity of violence against women following these events. The following article reviews research documenting the prevalence and severity of violence against women in disaster settings and provides a framework for IPV professionals to cultivate resources and capacities that promote women’s safety and well-being before, during, and after a disaster. Framework objectives include increasing awareness and capacity to respond; promoting safety planning; ensuring basic needs are met; providing comfort and support; connecting to long-term services; and promoting psychosocial recovery.
... Another informant disclosed that an old man living across from their unit would take a bath each time she or her sister would bathe, and would use the comfort room closest to theirs even though the men had separate toilet facilities. As many studies have shown, post-disaster physical violence against women is common (Brown 2012;Enarson 2000;Houghton 2010;Houghton et al. 2010;Solar 2011). Sadly, local security forces are not visible in the transitional homes. ...
... There is a small but powerful literature on gender and disasters. Its authors have highlighted: the exclusion of women from decision-making structures centring on disaster-related activities (Enarson and Morrow, 1998;Dominelli, 2014); women being denied their fair share of aid (Pittaway et al, 2007); and increase of domestic violence against women and children in refugee camps (Pittaway and Rees, 2006;Houghton, 2009;Parkinson and Zara, 2013). The smaller literature on men's roles in disasters: utilises feminist work that reconceptualises patriarchal relations; highlights men's social dominance and privileging in both public and private arenas (Pacholok, 2009(Pacholok, , 2013; emphasises women's dissatisfaction with their subordinate social position (Zara et al., 2016); and presents men's dominance in management, and policy-making including those involving service provision (Enarson and Morrow, 2009;Dominelli, 2014;Pease, 2014). ...
... Emotional and psychological distress: Climate-related disasters or gradual environmental deterioration can affect women's mental health disproportionally due to their multiple social roles (UN ECLAC, 2005;Babugura, 2010;Boetto and McKinnon, 2013;Hargreaves, 2013). Increased gender-based violence within households is reported as an indirect social consequence of climate-related disasters, as well as slow-onset climate events, due to greater stress and tension, loss and grief, and disrupted safety nets, reported for Australia (Anderson, 2009;Alston, 2011;Do Not Cite, Quote, Parkinson et al., 2011;Hazeleger, 2013), New Zealand (Houghton, 2009), the U.S. (Jenkins and Phillips, 2008;Anastario et al., 2009), Vietnam (Campbell et al., 2009) and Bangladesh (Pouliotte et al., 2009). ...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the contributions of sociologists who study the root causes and social consequences of everyday emergencies, disasters, and large-scale catastrophes. It defines key terms and concepts, offers a brief history and overview of the field, and explains why sociologists study disasters. It also describes what research has revealed regarding human and organizational behavior during times of collective upheaval through offering a review of available research regarding three enduring areas of study in disaster—convergence behavior, panic and prosocial behavior, and crime and conflict. This chapter demonstrates how disaster risk is patterned in ways that reflect pre-existing social and economic inequalities. The concluding section focuses on the future of this field of study and offers forward-looking recommendations. Ultimately, this chapter illustrates the power of sociology in revealing social processes and group-based patterns, while also shedding light on the complicated, sometimes contradictory, and ever-expanding body of knowledge that characterizes the sociological study of disaster. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Thesis
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The main objectives of this research are to A) identify and understand how women in city experience vulnerability to flooding; B) the impact of flooding on women; C) and how women use knowledge about flooding as tools for agency and empowerment. The first concept I use is vulnerability, which focuses on how risk impacts women’s immobility, burden of work, economic losses, and emotional impacts. The second concept, women’s empowerment, focuses on the intersection of knowledge and agency during floods. These concepts are examined through the intersection of gender, class, age, disability. Three research sites located in different areas in Cần Thơ City highlight a range of vulnerability, impacts, and coping strategies in women’s experience of floods. Qualitative data collection included a household survey, followed by in depth-interviews of women and relevant actors, participant observation, and mapping. The research found that in the context of the emergent phenomenon of urban flooding, both women and men are vulnerable to flood impacts, but outcomes tend to be worse for women because their lives are closer to the floods. Women’s vulnerability is multiplied by their immobility during flooding. They play additional roles which burden them with both work and health problems. Additionally, women experience three types of economic losses: first, personal losses from health problems associated with close contact with flood waters; second, income losses from limited economic participation and employment during the flooding period; and third, household losses from the loss of property. In six detailed interviews (elder, lottery seller, street seller; disability, bottle collector, lecturer) women expressed emotional and psychological burdens they experienced during the flooding period, but their experiences were shaped by their social contexts or demographic characteristics. For example, “pain” was a key emotion for overworked and elderly women, low-income and small-business owning women expressed “fear” due to risks to income. Many women were able to use their knowledge in order to re-shape flood outcomes. Women who were successful in this regard used both knowledge spheres as women’s experience and women’s participation in order to achieve their goals. Among the women who participated in this study, the elderly and disabled were more marginalized, and less able to overcome flooding than other women because of their physical limitations and diminished social and family support. In sum, while most women had sufficient knowledge to overcome flood risks, women who were already marginalized or disabled, and who had less social support, were not able to take action on their knowledge in order to reduce flood risks. Therefore, policies and development programs needed to help empower these women.
Article
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The dominant discourse of gender focuses on the binary of woman/man, despite the known additional risks for diverse sexualities and gender minorities in disasters. Given the small but growing body of literature concerning gender minorities in disasters, this paper sets out to explore the place of sex and gender minorities in disasters and to examine whether a binary definition needs to be extended. A five-stage rapid review was undertaken following Arksey and O’Malley’s method. Peer-reviewed journal articles in English language were sought that included disaster and gender terms in the title, abstract, and/or body of the article published between January 2015 and March 2019. The search included MEDLINE and Scopus databases. Relevant information from the studies were charted in Microsoft Excel, and results were summarized using a descriptive analytical method. In total, 729 records were identified; 248 that did not meet the inclusion criteria were excluded and 166 duplicates were removed. A total of 315 records were sourced and their full text was reviewed. Of those, only 12 journal articles included content relative to more than two genders. We also recognized that sex and gender terms were used interchangeably with no clear differentiation between the two. We recommend that disaster scholars and practitioners adopt correct terminology and expand their definition of gender beyond the binary; utilize work on gender fluidity and diversity; and apply this to disaster research, policy, and practice.
Article
This study reports on 82 unduplicated cases of violence against women and children after the Great East Japan Disaster of March 2011. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire from informants who worked with the disaster-affected populations. In addition to domestic violence, reported cases involved sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact, including quid pro quo assault perpetrated by nonintimates. Perpetrators often exploited a sense of fear, helplessness, and powerlessness and used threats to force compliance with sexual demands in exchange for life-sustaining resources. Findings point to the urgent need to develop measures to prevent and respond to postdisaster gender-based violence.
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Past research clearly demonstrates that gender influences resources, capacities, decision-making processes, and outcomes throughout the disaster lifecycle, as well as the practical management of disaster risk, response, and recovery structures. Now well-established in disaster science, gender analysis has grown in scope and influence over the past decade. This chapter updates the authors’ earlier review, again focusing on English-language peer-reviewed materials relating to natural, technological, and intentional hazards and disasters. The authors reflect on the diverse theories and methods shaping contemporary research, and synthesize key international findings about mortality, health, and well-being; gender-based violence; family and work; and grassroots change. They further highlight three critical lines of inquiry now emerging regarding sexual minorities, masculinities, and climate change in gender and disaster research. The chapter concludes with research recommendations and with strategies for utilizing new knowledge about gendered vulnerability and resilience to reduce risk, minimize losses, and decrease suffering in disasters.
Article
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In countries similar to Australia, relationship violence increases in the wake of disasters. New Zealand police reported a 53 per cent rise in domestic violence after the Canterbury earthquake. In the US, studies documented a four-fold increase following two disasters and an astounding 98 per cent increase in physical victimisation of women after Hurricane Katrina, with authors concluding there was compelling evidence that intimate partner violence increased following large-scale disasters (Schumacher, et al., 2010). Yet there is a research gap on why this happens, and how increased violence may relate to disaster experiences. Women's Health Goulburn North East undertook the first Australian research into this phenomenon, previously overlooked in emergency planning and disaster reconstruction. Interviews with 30 women and 47 workers in Victoria after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires provided evidence of increased domestic violence, even in the absence of sound quantitative data and in a context that silenced women. 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.
Chapter
This chapter examines the issue of climate change, extreme events and natural disaster and the way in which gender relations place men and women differently at risk depending on the type and pace of an event and where it occurs. Using concrete examples from the literature, we explore some of the experiences of males and females, and of adults, youth and children in response to different events across the world. In the process, questions arise about the role of gender in shaping the perspectives, vulnerabilities and responses of different groups. Other issues raised include gender bias in the discourses surrounding climate change and environmental degradation, the significance of change and conflict as in gender relations, and the need for a repository of knowledge that is context-specific to location and type of event as well as respectful of the diverse gender landscapes of different communities of people around the world. The chapter concludes with a proposal to draw on the principles of crime prevention (factors influencing situational and opportunistic crimes) and the practice of horizon scanning (extrapolating what is currently known about gendered landscape of climate change and disaster to future events) to formulate contingency plans to mitigate potential environmental degradation, reduce crime and criminality during disasters and avert gendered victimisation.
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This chapter explores the impacts of domestic violence (DV) on women and their increased vulnerability during disasters along with opportunities for resilience and change. It reviews the research literature and historical findings on DV occurring in the context of disasters in industrialized countries, in particular Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the USA. The findings from previous research are synthesized in order to examine the trends and causes of increased DV in disasters. Also discussed are the impacts of disasters on DV services and practitioners in the welfare sector and the complex challenges of researching DV in a disaster context. The chapter concludes with a discussion of significant research gaps, most notably a near absence of victims’ own accounts and voices.
Book
http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415502702/ In Gender and Wildfire: Landscapes of Uncertainty, Dr Eriksen examines wildfire awareness and preparedness amongst women, men, households, communities and agencies at the interface between city and beyond. She does so through an examination of two regions where wildfires are common and disastrous, and where how to deal with them is a major political issue: southeast Australia and the west coast United States. The book follows women’s and men’s stories of surviving, fighting, evacuating, living and working with wildfire to reveal the intimate inner workings of wildfire response – and especially the culturally and historically distinct gender relations that underpin wildfire resilience. Wildfire is revealed as much more than a "natural" hazard – it is far from gender-neutral. Rather, wildfire is an important means through which traditional gender roles and power relations are maintained despite changing social circumstances.
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This study reports on a large cross-sectional study of violence against women in New Zealand, and outlines the health consequences associated with intimate partner violence (IPV). The study population was women aged 18-64 years in Auckland and north Waikato. A population-based cluster-sampling scheme was used, with face-to-face interviews with one randomly selected woman from each household. Analyses included calculation of prevalence rates and logistic regression models to determine associations. The overall response rate was 66.9%, n=2,855. Fifteen percent of participants in Auckland and 17% in the north Waikato reported at least one act of physical violence inflicted by non-partners in their lifetime. Sexual violence by non-partners was reported by 9% and 12% of women in Auckland and Waikato respectively. Among ever-partnered women, 33% in Auckland and 39% in Waikato had experienced at least one act of physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner. Victims of IPV were two times more likely to have visited a healthcare provider in the previous 4 weeks. IPV was significantly associated with current health effects, including: self-perceived poor health, physical health problems (eg, pain), and mental health problems (eg, suicide attempts). The high prevalence of violence and its pervasive association with a wide range of physical and mental health effects suggest that it warrants consideration as a significant factor underpinning ill-health in women. Prevention efforts must concentrate not only on reducing the perpetration of violence against women, in particular IPV, but also on developing and sustaining appropriate responses to victims of violence within the health system.
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This paper presents an exploratory study of woman battering in the Grand Forks, North Dakota flood of April 1997. Based on my qualitative research of women's experiences in this flood, I present two case studies of battered women to enhance understanding of what intimate partner violence means to women in the face of a natural disaster. The case studies illustrate how battered women make sense of their situations and how factors such as class and disability play a role in how women experience domestic violence. The case studies also show why services for battered women, such as emergency shelters and crisis counseling, are crucial during a disaster period. Even though we do not know if domestic violence rates increase in a. disaster, we do have evidence that the demand for domestic violence services increases during disaster times. In light of this, I argue that there is a need to prepare for that situation.