A Qualitative Study of Violence Against Women after the Recent Disasters of Iran

Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016 Aug;31(4):407-12. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X16000431. Epub 2016 May 23.


Introduction Violence against women (VAW) is one of the most widespread violations of human rights and a major barrier to achieving gender equality. Violence against women is increased in disaster-stricken communities. Violence experiences, cases, and lessons-learned concerning Iran's disasters have not been investigated, documented, or shared so far. To fill this knowledge gap, this qualitative study aimed to explore types of VAW and girls after the recent quakes and floods in Iran. Problem The objective for this study was exploring the manifestations of VAW after the natural disasters in Iran.

Methods: A qualitative approach was used for this study. Data were collected by in-depth, unstructured interviews and field observations in three affected regions of Iran, including East Azerbaijan, Bushehr, and Mazandaran. A total of 15 participants, eight damaged women as well as seven key informants, were interviewed. A content analysis using Graneheim approach was performed for analyzing transcribed interviews.

Results: Two main themes were extracted from data, including domestic violence and violence within community. The first theme included three categories: physical, psychological, and sexual violence. Psychological violence and sexual harassment were two categories of violence within the community concept.

Conclusion: Different types of violence emerged from the present research that can be anticipated and integrated into future disaster medicine plans, public health reforms, and national rules of Iran. Improving women's knowledge on their rights to have a life without violence, and participation of both women and men in violence reduction projects, can be considered in all disaster management phases. Sohrabizadeh S . A qualitative study of violence against women after the recent disasters of Iran. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(4):407-412.

Keywords: Iran; VAW violence against women; gender; natural disasters; violence against women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Disaster Planning / methods
  • Disaster Planning / standards
  • Disasters*
  • Domestic Violence / prevention & control
  • Domestic Violence / psychology*
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sex Offenses / prevention & control
  • Sex Offenses / psychology*
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult