Saturday, February 26, 2011

Domestic Violence

The main thing I worry about personally with climate change and ecosystem collapse is the fate of my three beloved daughters, because it has been demonstrated throughout human history that women are the first victims of violence and abuse when times are tough.  Hey, they are attacked even when times are good.

So, reading about the earthquake in New Zealand gave me an inkling of hope because the residents seemed to be pulling together, sharing food and shelter, and basically being decent.

Then I came across this (and it is about people that supposedly care about each other - we can expect starving, desperate, migrating climate refugees to resort to much worse):
Domestic violence rages in NZ quake aftermath

There was a spike in suicides and stress-related conditions after the first quake, and David Meates, the region's health director, said Tuesday's disaster "has certainly got most people very, very fragile, very anxious".
"In these sorts of situations there are enormous pressures and strains on families, relationships, people's livelihoods are now at stake," Meates told AFP.
"Sometimes the way that it's expressed, people are a lot (closer to) their breaking point and sometimes some of the reactions can be quite out of character. Certainly domestic violence is something that becomes more obvious."
Already a major problem in New Zealand, with tens of thousands of incidents reported each year, one local study showed the incidence of domestic abuse could triple during natural disasters.
Massey University researcher Ros Houghton has found events such as floods and snowstorms significantly increased the intensity and frequency of abuse in rocky relationships.
"People lose a sense of stability and security and there's a kind of anger that comes and you don't know where to put it, you don't know where to direct it, and it's often that it gets directed inside and against those you love," said Peter Beck, dean of Christchurch's Anglican Cathedral.
"Already we have people who've been made redundant, so there's anxiety not only about your homes and your loved ones. Some people have already been getting this double-whammy of maybe losing their job."

1 comment:

  1. Oh Gail, right you are. But be concerned, not worried. Once we emerge from denial and stop scapegoating and blaming, then we can organize and communicate to face the issues.
    The paired couple is the smallest, most fundamental group. And it will be more of a salvation than an irritation. Humans just face a totally new set of problems, and we have very little practice.

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