Surviving intimate partner violence and disaster

Published date26 May 2022
Date26 May 2022
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Aggression,conflict & peace,Sociology,Gender studies,Gender violence,Political sociology,policy & social change,Social conflicts,War/peace
AuthorClare E.B. Cannon,Regardt Ferreira,Fredrick Buttell,Allyson O'Connor
Surviving intimate partner violence
and disaster
Clare E.B. Cannon, Regardt Ferreira, Fredrick Buttell and Allyson OConnor
Purpose Few studies investigating disaster have examined the risks associated with surviving both
disaster and intimate partner violence (IPV). IPV is psychological or physical abuse in a personal
relationship.Using an intersectional approach, the purpose of this study is to investigatecontributions to
and differences in perceived stress and personal resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic among a
sample of predominantly female-identified IPV survivors (n= 41) to examine risks associated with this
vulnerablepopulation during disaster.
Design/methodology/approach Using a structured interview guide, IPV survivors were interviewed
regarding their perceivedstress (i.e. perceived stress scale), personal resilience,(i.e. Connor Davidson
Resilience Scale),type of violence experienced (i.e. physical violence), COVID-19-related stressors (i.e.
loss of incomedue to the pandemic) and relevantsocio-demographic characteristics(i.e. race).
Findings These interviews indicatethat participants exhibited low levels of resilienceand a moderate
amount of stress exposure highlighting risk factors associated with experiencing personal violence
during disaster.
Originality/value At the height of their need for support and assistance, the disaster generated
additional rent andnutritional stress compounding the pressures violencesurvivors face. These findings
suggest those who aresocially vulnerable due to violence need structuralsupport services to cope with
disasterand violence-related stresses.
Keywords Disaster risk, Intimate partner violence, Women’s mental health, Stress, Resilience,
Domestic violence, Disaster, Perceived stress, Personal resilience
Paper type Research paper
Surviving disaster and violence
Intimate partner violence (IPV), defined as physical, emotional, psychological or economic
abuse or aggression and stalking or sexual harm by a current or former partner or spouse
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2018) occurs globally affecting an
estimated 1 in 3 women (Garcia-Moreno et al.,2006). In the USA alone, the US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention estimates 25% of women experience some form of IPV
during their lifetime (CDC, 2018). Psychological consequences of IPV typically include
depression, post-traumaticstress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, suicidal ideation and substance
use disorder (Boeckel et al.,2017;La Flair et al.,2012;Beck et al., 2011;Ellsberg et al.,
2008;Pico-Alfonso et al.,2008), while adverse physical health outcomes include
cardiovascular, reproductive, musculoskeletal and nervous system conditions (Sugg, 2015;
Campbell, 2002). IPV creates at-riskpopulations before a disaster, while research suggests
IPV tends to increase in prevalence and severity post-disaster (Harville et al.,2018;Buttell
and Carney, 2009;Ferreira et al., 2018) andthe novel coronavirus of 2019 (COVID-19) is no
exception (Holmes et al.,2020).
Due to the multiple and cascading stressors related to disasters, including infectious
disease ones, and their implications for translating research to practice, researchers have
begun quantitatively to investigate resilience, stress and IPV-related to disasters, generally,
Clare E.B. Cannon is based
at the Department of
Human Ecology, University
of California Davis, Davis,
California, USA and
Department of Social Work,
University of the Free State,
Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Regardt Ferreira and
Fredrick Buttell are both
based at Tulane University
School of Social Work, New
Orleans, Louisiana, USA
and Department of Social
Work, University of the Free
State, Bloemfontein, South
Africa. Allyson O’Connor is
based at Tulane University
School of Social Work, New
Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Received 15 March 2022
Revised 22 April 2022
Accepted 22 April 2022
Disclosure statement: The
authors report there are no
competing interests to declare.
PAGE 124 jJOURNAL OF AGGRESSION, CONFLICTAND PEACE RESEARCH jVOL. 15 NO. 2 2023, pp. 124-136, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599 DOI 10.1108/JACPR-03-2022-0702

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