Tuesday 24 July 2018 — A report released today has found that that the risk of sexual and gender-based violence including domestic violence and forced marriage increased after disasters in three South-East Asian countries.
The report, The Responsibility to Prevent and Respond to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Disasters and Crises, is the result of household surveys and focus groups involving 1,800 people affected by disasters in Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) report shows a rise in risks of forms of sexual and gender based violence including sexual harassment, child marriage, child sexual abuse, domestic violence and trafficking.
Veronica Bell, from Australian Red Cross International Programs, which provided input to the report, says while research in Australia and other developed economies has shown that the risk of sexual and gender-based violence can increase after disasters, few studies have focused on low-income countries.
“To our knowledge this is the first study that focusses on the risks of post-disaster sexual and gender-based violence for men, boys, sexual minority groups such as gay men and boys, lesbian women and girls, and transgendered people across several low-income countries.
“It shows there’s an increase in the risk of harassment and assault, child marriage, child sexual abuse, domestic violence and trafficking after disasters, which are often life threatening and affect people’s daily life, dignity, rights, livelihoods and health,” Ms Bell says.