Monday, October 24, 2005

Disaster Preparedness

"When Hurricane Andrew destroyed their apartment, belongings, car, and workplaces, Carol's husband "Just went berserk ... he really went crazy. Before, I would get beat up maybe once a month if I was lucky. Afterward, it was like every other day. ... I ran across a lot of women suffering, too, with their children - husbands beating them up and leaving them. It was pretty bad."

Women like Carol were less safe than ever from violence in their own homes after a predictable event nobody thought would ever really happen in a major metropolitan area. What makes women in volatile relationships so vulnerable when disasters transform geographies, institutions, and relationships? How well prepared are grassroots women's services to respond to women and children residing in shelters or transition homes during disasters or to women facing violence after a major disaster?

With funding from the BC Institute on Family Violence and the Feminist Research, Education, Development, and Action Centre, an action research project was designed to answer these questions. Seventy-seven Canadian and US, provincial and state coalitions, shelters, and transition homes responded to a mail and phone survey, including thirty-five in the British Columbia/Yukon Society of Transition Houses. With their help, we now have baseline data on women at risk both of violence and disaster." By Elaine Enarson, Visiting Scholar Disaster Preparedness Resources Centre
University of British Columbia posted on the FREDA Centre for Research on Violence against Women and Children Website Link to Website (last visited 10-23-05 NVS)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2005/10/disaster_prepar.html

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