Domestic Violence and the Christchurch Earthquake
Wed 08 Sep 2010
Police in Christchurch are saying they have seen an increase in domestic violence incidents following Saturday morning’s earthquake. Inspector ...
Police in Christchurch are saying they have seen an increase in domestic violence incidents following Saturday morning’s earthquake.
Inspector John Price, of the Christchurch police, said there had been a "significant increase" that probably reflected "the stressful situation people are currently in. We'd be asking people to be mindful of that and if they're finding things are getting on top of them to seek support." Sixty-one domestic-violence incidents were reported to police from 4.35am on Saturday to 2.30pm on Monday. In the same period last year, there were 40.
Existing New Zealand research on this area by Dr Rosalind Houghton found that domestic violence can as much as triple after civil defence emergencies. However the research was not able to determine whether it was the number of incidents of family violence or merely the reporting of them which increased after civil defence emergencies. The research identified possible causes as prior abuse and financial strain caused by the emergency. Other findings from Dr Houghton’s research were:
structural factors such as communication between agencies affected support to families
a reduction in some services and overcrowded housing
staff in agencies that continued operating in the community after the immediate emergency felt poorly supported, showing disaster planning is not a priority for domestic violence support services, which have scant resources and focus on immediate challenges.
“Huge jump in domestic abuse following quake”
“Christchurch earthquake: Family violence up as strain takes toll”
NZFVC Research Resources & Previous News Items
'We had to cope with what we had': agency perspectives on domestic violence and disasters in New Zealand : a thesis submitted to the Victoria University of Wellington in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Policy
Research Finds Domestic Violence Rises During Emergencies
'Everything became a struggle, absolute struggle' : post-flood increases in domestic violence in New Zealand
Domestic violence reporting and disasters in New Zealand
Study Finds Link Between Floods And Violence