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Special Collection: Disaster and Emergency Preparedness and Response

Although the body of research on post-disaster violence is limited, the available information from recent experiences has demonstrated that gender violence is a critical issue facing communities affected by disasters. Concerns about injuries, infectious diseases and the provision of basic needs often take precedence over the surveillance of violence in the aftermath of a disaster. However, the data that is available underscore that women, in particular, become especially vulnerable to sexual and domestic violence in the chaos and social breakdown that follows a disaster.

For instance, the acute affordable housing shortage in the Gulf region following Katrina heightened women’s exposure to sexual violence -- many women and girls have had to “share accommodations with extended family members, acquaintances, or even in some cases, known former abusers, simply to have a place to call home” and “the resulting overcrowding has led to abuse specifically linked to the Katrina experience".

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