In disaster situations, like the recent storms that raged from the southern United States through the midwest and into the north, violence against women increases dramatically. Disproportionate rates of poverty, confining gender roles, and the burden of care-taking responsibilities lead to greater vulnerability and susceptibility to exploitation and violence during this challenging time (Klein, 2008). Implementing procedures, practices, and strategies for emergency preparedness and disaster relief can go a long way in preventing violence before it occurs and securing a safe and appropriate response to people in need. The VAWnet Special Collection, Disaster and Emergency Preparedness and Response (Updated May 2011), provides resources for individuals, organizations, and businesses to explore ways to reduce violence in the wake of disaster. Additional resources and ways to get involved through both donations and advocacy are included below.
The national Disaster Relief Fund, created as a result of Hurricane Katrina, focuses on disaster areas in the U.S. and is designed to:
• Support survivors and staff at local sexual assault centers
• Assist with direct service needs
• Protect evacuees from sexual violence
• Supplement relocation efforts for damaged sexual assault centers
To donate to victims of the Japanese Tsunami, consider using the Women’s Fund for Safety, which provides funding to organizations providing direct services and relief to women and children in Japan.
DISASTER AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
This Special Collection was updated in May 2011 to include additional resources on:
Women’s Unique Challenges: Gender Considerations in Disaster Assessment by the World Health Organization, Department of Gender, Women and Health (January 2005)
Protecting Children’s Rights: Protecting Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence in Disaster & Emergency Situations: A Guide for Local and Community-based Organizations by Stephanie Delaney, End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (March 2006)
Resources for SANEs: SANE Checklist for Disaster Planning by the International Association of Forensic Nurses
TA QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH
June 2011: What can I do to prevent and respond to sexual violence in the wake of a disaster?
During times of disaster, the stress, fear and sense of helplessness associated with emergency tend to increase risk factors for perpetration of violence against women” (Klein, 2008).
Check out this month’s question to learn about a request for assistance from a Coordinator in Japan working with the Polaris Project. Share your ideas on how to plan and prepare for disaster situations!
May 2011: How can I work within my faith community to end domestic violence?
In the context of violence against women, religious teachings and communities will play a role; they will never be neutral” (Fortune & Enger, 2005).
Check out the May question to join in the discussion about this request from the minister of a Methodist church.
NEW SPECIAL COLLECTION
The Intersection of Domestic Violence and the Military: Working across disciplines (May 2011) examines co-occurring issues experienced by veterans (PTSD, TBI, MST) and provides information related to best practices when addressing these co-occurring issues through a multi-systems approach. Challenges experienced by female service members and veterans are explored through the lens of violence against women.
In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th 2011, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, UC Irvine Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect, Casa de Esperanza, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders invite you to participate in a BlogTalkRadio session and Webinar to learn more about this issue. You will be able to participate in one or both activities from the convenience of your desk!
2nd WORLD CONFERENCE OF WOMEN’S SHELTERS
NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT CONFERENCE
The National Sexual Assault Conference will take place September 14-16, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Online registration is now open, and the exhibitor deadline has been extended to June 10. Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in this year’s conference. See this year’s theme by watching this short promo video.
View all recent additions to the VAWnet library. Highlights include…
The Intersection Between HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Women by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (May 2011)
Forging New Collaborations: A Guide for Rape Crisis, Domestic Violence, and Disability Organizations by Nancy Smith and Sandra Harrell for the Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Victimization and Safety (April 2011)
Assessing Patients for Sexual Violence: A guide for health care providers by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2011)
Open Minds Open Doors: Transforming Domestic Violence Programs to Include LGBTQ Survivors by Mary-Elizabeth Quinn for The Network/La Red (2010)
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