Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, October 24, 2005

Domestic Violence and Disaster

"The current state of chaos and devastation in the City of New Orleans and other impacted regions affords little solace to battered women – many of whom fled their abusive homes for the protection of the shelter only to find themselves displaced from the shelter in the aftermath of the storm.   

The disintegration of services for battered women along the Gulf Coast has and will continue to have, for months to come, a dramatic impact on the safety of battered women and their children.  Before hurricane Katrina battered women’s shelters and programs across the country struggled on a daily basis to meet battered women’s basic imminent safety, emotional and physical needs.  Shortages in funding, staffing, resources, and time place undue constraints on programs’ abilities to advocate for battered women’s safety.  A disaster such as Katrina accentuates these constraints.

To ease the excessive burden faced by programs that were hardest hit, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is orchestrating a nationwide effort to relocate battered women and their children to shelters in other parts of the country with available space and resources.  NCADV’s website ( provides an opportunity for battered women’s shelters to announce existing beds for battered women affected by hurricane Katrina.  Programs from Alaska to Connecticut to Florida to Arizona are willing to provide a safe space for battered women and many are able to assist with transportation.  Individuals in need of these services can access the programs’ contact information via the NCADV website." By National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Link to Website (last visited 10-23-05 NVS)

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