Responding to domestic violence in the wake of disasters

exploring the effects on services and workers

Isobelle Barrett Meyering, Rochelle Braaf, Jan Breckenridge, Kerrie James

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on the ways in which disasters affect social service agencies and their employees and clients experiencing domestic violence (In Australia, ‘domestic violence’ (DV) is the preferred term. However, in the USA, ‘intimate partner violence’ or IPV is preferred. In this chapter, colloquial ‘DV’ is used). It reports on interviews conducted with workers from domestic violence services and first responder organisations in Townsville, a regional centre in Queensland, Australia, that was hit by Cyclone Yasi in 2010 and on a survey conducted with 67 workers across Australia who had experienced a natural or technological disaster. Workers described how services were reduced as work premises were damaged or destroyed and how they themselves were affected by the disasters. Many workers felt torn between having to attend to their own situation and that of their clients. This chapter reports on some managers’ strategies for supporting both workers and clients during disasters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIssues of gender and sexual orientation in humanitarian emergencies
Subtitle of host publicationrisks and risk reduction
EditorsLarry W. Roeder Jr.
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319058825
ISBN (Print)9783319058818
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameHumanitarian Solutions in the 21st Century
ISSN (Print)2198-9958
ISSN (Electronic)2198-9966


  • Domestic violence
  • Disaster management
  • Australia
  • Cyclone Yasi
  • Townsville

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