June 3, 1998 Special Presentation

by Elaine Enarson, Ph.D.

Visiting Scholar
Disaster Preparedness Resources Centre
University of British Columbia

Battered Women in Disaster: A Case Study of Gendered Vulnerability


Online Transcript
Download Transcript (MS Word File)
Original Presentation (Text File)
Slides: 1, 2

About Elaine Enarson
About the Gender Disaster Network
Download Responding to Domestic Violence in Disaster (MS Word File)

Additional Material
Bibliography - Gender Issues in Disaster: Selected Readings
Appendix A - Disaster Planning for Shelters
Appendix B - Planning Guidelines for Programs, Coalitions, and Disaster Practitioners

Background Sheets
Surviving Violence and Disaster
Does Domestic Violence Increase After Disaster?
Women's Services in Disaster Contexts: Direct and Indirect Impacts


EIIP Virtual Library Online Presentation
Wednesday - June 3, 1998 - 12:00 Noon EDT

Battered Women in Disaster:
A Case Study of Gendered Vulnerability

Special Presentation

Dr. Elaine Enarson
Visiting Scholar, Disaster Preparedness Resources Centre
University of British Columbia, Canada

The EIIIP Virtual Library hosted a special event on June 3, 1998, as Elaine Enarson, Visiting Scholar, Disaster Preparedness Resources Centre, University of British Columbia, presented her paper, "Battered Women in Disaster: A Case Study of Gendered Vulnerability".

Elaine explained she recently conducted a study in the US and Canada about preparedness and response in domestic violence programs. A gender and disaster bibliography was provided as background materials to indicate the range of work available that analyzes gender relations as a factor in human and social impact and response to disaster. The focus of Elaine's presentation was domestic violence against women with an explanation that this is part of a larger complex of family violence including the abuse of elders and children. As stated by the author, we are woefully ignorant of the extent or nature of violence in the aftermath of disaster and therefore not yet able to fully respond to post-disaster needs through long-term recovery. Elaine believes we need a sustained national research initiative to investigate the incidence of violence of all kinds in the wake of disaster.

Although much of the dialogue centered around the issue of violence against women, gender issues for men in disaster contexts were also mentioned --- for example, the need for support services like child care for single fathers, non-traditional job opportunities, and male-friendly mental health services. The Virtual Library audience agreed gender issues are a relatively new topic for the emergency professional and there is a need for more dialogue, awareness, and training on this topic.


Visiting Scholar
Disaster Preparedness Resources Centre
University of British Columbia

Elaine Enarson is currently a visiting scholar at the University of British Columbia's Disaster Preparedness Resources Centre with a focus on gender issues in social impact analysis. She earned her PhD in sociology from the University of Oregon (1981) and has taught at Florida International University and the University of Nevada, Reno, where she was the director of women's studies. She is also a former director of the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence.

Introduced to disaster sociology by moving to Miami just in time to lose her home, she has researched women's disaster experiences in South Dade County, written on women's housing needs, and studied domestic violence and disaster in Canada and the US. Her article on gender issues in disaster sociology is forthcoming in Disasters. Most recently, she and Betty Hearn Morrow coedited The Gendered Terrain of Disaster: Through Women's Eyes, an international reader on women and disaster forthcoming in June from Greenwood Publishing.

Her current research examines women's disaster work in Grand Forks and, with Joe Scanlon, gender patterns in flooded rural couples south of Manitoba. Most recently, she organized and lectured in Women in Disaster: Exploring the Issues, a two-day conference for women's services and provincial emergency practitioners.

Elaine Enarson

604/929-6062 (tel)
604/929-4535 (fax)
[email protected] (email)

Mailing address:
4225 Glenhaven Crescent North Vancouver, BC V7G 1B8

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The Gender and Disaster Network homepage was inspired by an early-morning gathering of over 50 women and men attending the l997 Natural Hazards conference in Boulder, Colorado in July, 1997.

The electronic network will be a vehicle for integrating gender equity issues into all aspects of emergency management theory and practice, and will help women and men working in the field share ideas, resources, and information. It is particularly useful for international collaboration.

Currently maintained by Nicole Dash of the International Hurricane Center at the Florida International University in Miami, the site is still "under construction." Check it out-and send in your ideas.

The site includes the sections:

  • Who are we? Network members
  • Who's doing what? Project updates and working papers
  • What's out there? Bibliographies
  • What's coming? Upcoming events
  • What's next? Opportunities
  • What else? Resources
  • Why does gender matter? Profiles of women and men in disaster

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Virtual Library Live Chat Page