Domestic Violence and Violence in Temporary Shelters

People's behavior changes during emergencies, as do the ways in which they express their emotions. There is frustration and anguish which, among other things, fosters acts of violence among families, chiefly against women, children, the elderly, and handicapped persons. These outbreaks can occur in the home setting, in public, and in shelters or temporary refuges.

Furthermore, during emergencies the application of customary measures of law and order is usually irregular, a fact which helps foster incidents, and increases the risk of sexual violence, especially against women and children, with a particular increase in the vulnerability of teenage girls.

Rape, sexual abuse, involuntary prostitution, and other physical attacks are among the problems that appear or increase during emergencies.

The activities mentioned below should be included among the chief points to consider in preparing responses to violence in shelters, public spaces, and the home:


Department of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

Tel: (202) 974-3434

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