Associations between individual-level vulnerability to natural disasters and social stratification have been widely demonstrated in the published literature, with excess negative impacts disproportionately affecting women, ethnic and racial minorities, and the elderly. Specifically, several studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between exposure to natural disasters or other extreme events and rates of interpersonal violence (IPV). People experiencing IPV in the post-disaster period may face unique barriers, including loss of access to safe housing and a need to remain with family to qualify for or obtain financial assistance and other types of disaster aid.
In this study, authors used data compiled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to assess the potential association between exposure to natural disasters and reports of IPV. Domestic violence in the disaster recovery context carries potentially unique implications due to limited safe housing and loss of community networks. As the frequency and severity of disasters increase globally, disaster relief programs should provide support within this context of increased IPV.