An Exploratory Study of Woman Battering in the Grand Forks Flood Disaster: Implications for Community Responses and Policies

March 1999 (VOL. 17, NO. 1)

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This paper presents and exploratory study of woman battering the the Grand Forks, North Dakota flood of April 1997. Based on my qualitative research of women's experiences in this flood, I present two case studies of battered women to enhance understanding of what intimate partner violence means to women in the face of a natural disaster. The case studies illustrate how battered women make sense of their situations and how factors such as class and disability play a role in how women experience domestic violence. The case studies also show why services for battered women, such as emergency shelters and crisis counseling, are crucial during a disaster period. Even though we do not know if domestic violence rates increase in a disasters, we do have evidence that the demand for domestic violence services increases during disaster times. In light of this, I argue that there is a need to prepare for that situation.