Domestic violence often spikes after major disasters. It is an increasingly pressing issue as climate change drives more storms and fires, and people worldwide are trapped at home due to the pandemic.
Studies found the greatest increase in family violence took place in communities most affected by the disaster. In one report pertaining to Australia’s wildfires, the percentage of women in badly burned areas who said they experienced physical violence was seven times that of women in areas that had been only moderately or minimally affected by the fires. Research in the U.S. has found a similar connection between hurricanes and interpersonal violence. In the aftermath of both sorts of disasters, loss of income was one factor associated with an increase in violence.
If you or a loved one is trapped with an abuser, resources and help can be found at the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may video phone at 1-855-812-1001, Instant Messenger (DeafHotline) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Fire, The Virus, The Violence: Australia And The Lessons Of Natural Disasters: npr