Violence against women and natural disasters: findings from post-tsunami Sri Lanka

Violence Against Women. 2010 Aug;16(8):902-18. doi: 10.1177/1077801210377649.


This article presents a qualitative study of violence against women in post-tsunami Sri Lanka. It examines the types of violence occurring throughout the disaster's emergency and later phases, and whether overall levels of violence increased. Explanatory factors and responses by different humanitarian actors are analyzed and recommendations made for future disaster management. It is argued that violence against women during natural disasters must be understood within the context of the violence against women that prevails in societies at "normal" times, which is exacerbated by disaster. Response therefore necessitates addressing both the social inequalities underlying women's vulnerability to violence and specific factors that "trigger" violence during disaster.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Disaster Planning
  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sex Offenses*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse*
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tsunamis*