Winter storms linked to increased domestic violence, study finds
Credit: Victoria/Pixabay

Winter storms linked to increased domestic violence, study finds

A devastating winter storm in Texas heightens the risk of domestic violence, trapping victims with their abusers and limiting access to help, reports

Lisa Woelfl, Greg Morton, and Jessica Klein report for The Fuller Project, in partnership with The Texas Tribune and the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism.


In short:

  • Research indicates that natural disasters exacerbate intimate partner violence, as victims find it harder to seek support.
  • Disasters like wildfires and hurricanes, fueled by climate change, could make these situations more common.
  • Federal disaster response lacks preparation for addressing intimate partner violence during emergencies.

Key quote:

“The level of toxicity and abuse was condensed. The accusations or outbursts of anger that would have taken three weeks were condensed to five days.’’

— Michelle J. Abdelnoor

Why this matters:

Natural disasters can create significant emotional distress and anxiety. The loss of homes, livelihoods, and loved ones can heighten tensions within households. For individuals with a predisposition toward violence, these stressors may lead to an increase in abusive behaviors as a misplaced outlet for their frustration and fear.

Ecoanxiety. Ecoparalysis. Solastalgia. Call it what you want— when it comes to climate change and mental health, the future is now.

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