First Australian research on gender-based violence in disasters

A collection of foundational research and reports, published articles, journals and book chapters featuring the work of GADAus

The work of GADAus is grounded in extensive qualitative research by Dr Debra Parkinson, Claire Zara and others dating back to 2009 in the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires. Their joint research, The Way He Tells It: Relationships after Black Saturday, was the first of its kind in Australia to identify and examine the link between disasters and violence against women.

GADAus regularly conducts and contributes to gender and disaster research designed to improve prevention and response to increasing climate-related disasters. On this page, you will find a selection of the research related to family violence and disaster, LGBTIQA+ people’s experience in disaster, men and disaster, women in fire and emergency management roles, among other topics.

“Although Australians have a one in six estimated lifetime exposure to natural disaster, there has been little research in this country into the gendered impacts of disaster and the link between disaster and violence against women. ‘The way he tells it…’: Relationships after Black Saturday, reports on the findings from the first Australian research examining the link between natural disasters and violence against women. Our research shows that family violence is the ‘hidden disaster’ that continues to blight communities long after the fire front or the floodwaters have receded.”

Dr Debra Parkinson, PhD Thesis: Women’s experience of violence in the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires (2015)

What are you looking for?

GADAus Research

Impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on older people: A family violence prevention project

Parkinson, D., O’Halloran, K. & Dinning, J. (2020).

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Victoria’s family violence primary prevention workforce

Leonard, W., Parkinson, D. and Weiss, C.O. (October 2020)

COVID-19 LGBTIQ+ Family Violence Prevention Project: Prevention In The Pandemic

Leonard, W. McCann, B. Poyner, E. Wilson, C. Garay, A. (2020)

Long-Term Disaster Resilience

Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., Kaur, J. (2018)

Living LBGTI during Disasters

Parkinson, D., Leonard, W., Duncan, A., & Jeffrey, J. (2018).

Lesbian and Bi women’s experience of emergency management

Parkinson, D. & Duncan, A. (2018)

Women in Fire and Emergency Leadership Roles

Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., & Hedger, E. (2015).

Women’s experience of violence in the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires. (2015)

A Thesis Submitted in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. By Debra Parkinson, Clayton: School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University.

Men on Black Saturday: Risks and opportunities for change

Zara, C., & Parkinson, D. (2013)

‘The way he tells it…’: Relationships after Black Saturday

Parkinson, D., & Zara, C. (2011)

Beating the Flames: Women escaping and surviving Black Saturday

Parkinson, D., & Zara, C. (Eds.). (2011)

Investigating the Increase in Domestic Violence Post Disaster: An Australian Case Study

Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34 (11). Pg. 2333-2362

‘I thought you were more of a man than that’

Australian Journal for Emergency Management 37 (4)

An Enduring and Deep Disinterest

The Crisis Response Journal

Gender-based Violence and Disasters

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science

Men’s role in violence against women in Iran and Australia

Australian Journal For Emergency Management 37 (1).Pg.65-71

Gendered aspects of long-term disaster resilience

Australian Journal For Emergency Management 37 (1).Pg.59-64

Under pressure: Developing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) inclusive emergency services

Australian Journal For Emergency Management 37 (1).Pg.52-58

Convergence of design: Aboriginal knowledge and emergency management—a new interdisciplinary paradigm

Australian Journal For Emergency Management 37 (1). Pg.22-23

Indigenous fire knowledge and land management

Australian Journal For Emergency Management 37 (1). Pg. 40-43


Date/YearAuthor / Title
2021Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., Leonard, W. & Archer, F. (2021). Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Experience of Emergency Management. Gender Issues, 39, 75–98 (2022)
2021Murray, V., Parkinson, D. & Bloomer, E. ‘Climate change and disaster risk reduction’ (Ch. 23) in Luber, G., Lemery, J. & Sorensen, C. Global Climate Change and Human Health: From Science to Practice 2nd Ed. Wiley.
2020Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., Kaur, J., Archer, F. & Spencer. C. (2020). ‘The role of community in long-term disaster resilience in Australia’. Radical Community Work Journal, 4(2).
2020OUT and about in the Emergency Management Sector: Promoting LGBTI-inclusive employment practices and workplaces. Short paper in Melbourne University’s Proceeding of Gender and Sexuality at Work Conference 18/2/2020.
2019Parkinson, D. (2019). Investigating the Increase in Domestic Violence Post Disaster: An Australian Case Study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34(11), 2333–2362.
2019Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., & Archer, F. (2019). Barriers and enablers to women in fire and emergency leadership roles, Gender in Management: An International Journal, Vol. 34 Issue: 2, pp.78-93.
2018Spencer, C., Majeed, S., McArdle, D. (2018).  Long-term Disaster Resilience: A literature review.
2018Leonard, W., Duncan, A., Parkinson, D. and Archer, F. (2018) Findings from the first Victorian study of the experiences and needs of LGBTI communities in emergencies Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Monograph No.3, 3 October 2018, 31-34.
2018Duncan, A., Parkinson, D., Archer, F., & Keech, E. (2018). Diversity in disaster issues paper: Executive Summary. Australian Journal of Emergency Management Monograph, No. 3.  2018.
2018Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., Archer, F., Dominey-Howes, D., Gorman-Murray, A., McKinnon, S. (2018). Introducing new national Gender and Emergency Management (GEM) Guidelines to support more inclusive disaster risk reduction work. Australian Journal of Emergency Management Monograph, Monograph No. 3(October 2018), 28-30
2018Bailey, N. (2018). Diversity in Disaster Conference Outcomes Statement. Diversity in Disaster; Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Monograph No. 3, 2018.
2018Parkinson, D. & Duncan, A. (2018). What’s so hard about writing a fire plan? The central role of gendered expectations in bushfire planning. Australian Journal of Emergency Management Monograph No. 3.
2018Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., Davie, S., Archer. F., Sutherland, A., O’Malley, S., Jeffrey, J., Pease, B., Wilson, A. & Gough, M. Victoria’s Gender and Disaster Taskforce: A retrospective analysis. Australian Journal of Emergency Management. July 2018. Vol. 33. Issue 3.
2018Spencer, C., Bailey, N., Muir, C., Majeed, S., McArdle, D., Keech, E., Duncan, A., & Parkinson, D. (2018) ‘Understanding the role gender plays in survivor responses to natural disaster: Evaluating the Lessons in Disaster Programs’. Australian Journal of Emergency Management. Vol. 33(2).
2017Parkinson, D. Investigating the increase in domestic violence post-disaster: An Australian case-study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, March 2017.
2016Zara, C., Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., and Joyce, K. (2016) Men and Disaster: Men’s experiences of the Black Saturday bushfires and the aftermath. The Australian Journal of Emergency Management. Vol. 31 Issue 3.
2016Parkinson, D. & Zara, C. (2016) Emotional and Personal Costs for men of the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria, Australia in Enarson, E. & Pease, B. (Eds.) Men, Masculinities and Disaster. London: Routledge.
2016Included in the Compendium of Victorian Community-Based Resilience Building Case Studies by MUDRI and EMV.
2015Parkinson, D., Zara, C., & Davie, S. (2015). Victoria’s Gender and Disaster Taskforce. Australian Journal of Emergency Management. Vol. 30. No. 4. Oct 2015: 26-29.
2015Parkinson, D., & Zara, C. (2015). Women-led sustained efforts give birth to key Gender & Disaster body, many Australian “firsts”. In M. Cocchiglia (Ed.), Women’s Leadership in Risk-Resilient Development. Bangkok, Thailand: UNISDR.
2015Parkinson, D. (2015) Women’s experience of violence in the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires. A Thesis Submitted in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Clayton: School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University.
2015Parkinson, D., Farrant, B. & Duncan, A. (2015). Women and Children. In R. Walker & W. Mason (Eds.), Climate change adaptation by community based health and social service organisations. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.
2014Parkinson, D., Duncan, A., & Weiss, C. (2014). The impact on women’s health of climatic and economic disaster position paper in Australian Women’s Health Network (Ed.). Drysdale, Vic.: AWHN.
2013Parkinson, D., & Zara, C. (2013). The hidden disaster: Violence in the aftermath of natural disaster. The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 28(2).
2012Parkinson, D., & Zara, C. (2012). Under Fire: violence in the aftermath of Black Saturday, DVIRC Quarterly Edition 2 – Winter 2012 (13-15) (Requires university log on or payment).
2011Parkinson, D., Lancaster, C. & Stewart, A. (2011). ‘A numbers game: lack of gendered data impedes prevention of disaster-related family violence. In Health Promotion Journal of Australia 2011; 22: S42-S45.

Learn more about gender and disaster

In addition to GADAus’ research, there are many notable studies on gender-based-violence in disasters in 14 different countries published between 1993 and 2020, and 16 multi-country studies between 1998 and 2018.



  • Nasreen, M. (2010). Rethinking disaster management: Violence against women during floods in Bangladesh. In S. Dasgupta, I. Şiriner, & P. S. De (Eds.), Women’s encounter with disaster (pp. 232–244). Frontpage.







New Zealand



South Asia

Sri Lanka

United States

  • Anastario, M., Shehab, N., & Lawry, L. (2009). Increased gender-based violence among women internally displaced in Mississippi two years post-Hurricane
  • Katrina. Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness, 3(1), 18–26.
  • Austin, D. W. (2008). Hyper-masculinity and disaster: Gender role construction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina [Paper presentation]. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, United States.
  • Bell, S. A., & Folkerth, L. A. (2016). Women’s mental health and intimate partner violence following natural disaster: A scoping review. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 31(6), 648.
  • Brown, B. (2012). Battered women’s shelters in New Orleans: Recovery and transformation. In E. David & E. Enarson (Eds.), The women of Katrina: How gender, race and class matter in an American disaster (pp. 179–189). Vanderbilt University Press.
  • Clemens, P., Hietala, J. R., Rytter, M. J., Schmidt, R. A., & Reese, D. J. (1999). Risk of domestic violence after flood impact: Effects of social support, age, and history of domestic violence. Applied Behavioral Science Review, 7(2), 199–206.
  • Enarson, E. (2012). Women confronting natural disaster: From vulnerability to resilience. Lynne Rienner.
  • Fagen, J. L., Sorensen, W., & Anderson, P. B. (2011). Why not the University of New Orleans? Social disorganization and sexual violence among internally displaced women of Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Community Health, 36, 721–727.
  • Fothergill, A. (1999). An exploratory study of woman battering in the Grand Forks flood disaster: Implications for community responses and policies. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 17(1), 79–98.
  • Fothergill, A. (2008). Domestic violence after disaster: Voices from the 1997 Grand Forks Flood. In B. D. Phillips & B. H. Morrow (Eds.), Women and disasters: From theory to practice (pp. 131– 154). International Research Committee on Disasters.
  • Frasier, P. Y., Belton, L., Hooten, E., Campbell, M. K., DeVellis, B., Benedict, S., Carrillo, C., Gonzalez, P., Kelsey, K., & Meie, A. (2004). Disaster down east: Using participatory action research to explore intimate partner violence in eastern North Carolina. Health Education and Behavior, 31(4 suppl), 69S–84S.
  • Harville, E. W., Taylor, C. A., Tesfai, H., Xiong, X., & Buekens, P. (2011). Experience of Hurricane Katrina and reported intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(4), 833– 845.
  • Jenkins, P., & Phillips, B. (2008a). Battered women, catastrophe, and the context of safety after Hurricane Katrina. NWSA Journal, 20(3), 49–68.
  • Jenkins, P., & Phillips, B. (2008b). Domestic violence and disaster. In B. Willinger (Ed.), Katrina and the women of New Orleans (pp. 65–69). Newcomb College Center for Research on Women.
  • Lauve-Moon, K., & Ferreira, R. (2015). An exploratory investigation: Post-disaster predictors of intimate partner violence. Clinical Social Work Journal.
  • Luft, R. E. (2008). Looking for common ground: Relief work in Post-Katrina New Orleans as an American parable of race and gender violence. NWSA Journal, 20(3), 27.
  • Morrow, B., & Enarson, E. (1996). Hurricane Andrew through women’s eyes: Issues and recommendations. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 14, 5–22.
  • Palinkas, L. A., Downs, M. A., Petterson, J. S., & Russell, J. (1993). Social, cultural, and psychological impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Human Organization, 52(1), 1–13.
  • Phillips, B., Jenkins, P., & Enarson, E. (2009). Violence and disaster vulnerability. In B. Phillips, D. Thomas, A. Fothergill, & L. Blinn-Pike (Eds.), Social vulnerability to disasters. CRC Press.
  • Picardo, C., Burton, S., Naponick, J., & Katrina Reproductive Assessment Team. (2010). Physically and sexually violent experiences of reproductive-aged women displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society, 162(September/October), 282–290.
  • Renzetti, C. M. (2010). And the bear just keeps on dancing: Violence against women in the context of a violent society. Sociological Viewpoints, Spring, 49–54.
  • Santa Cruz Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women. (1990). Violence against women in the aftermath of the October 17, 1989 earthquake: A report to the mayor and city council of the City of Santa Cruz.
  • Schumacher, J., Coffey, S., Norris, F., Tracy, M., Clements, K., & Galea, S. (2010). Intimate partner violence and Hurricane Katrina: Predictors and associated mental health outcomes. Violence and Victims, 25(5), 588–603.
  • Wilson, J., Phillips, B. D., & Neal, D. M. (1998). Domestic violence after disaster. In E. Enarson & B. H. Morrow (Eds.), The gendered terrain of disaster: Through women’s eyes (pp. 115–122). Praeger

Worldwide Consideration