Family Violence After Natural Disaster

Family Violence After Natural Disaster Training

This workshop package was developed for the Department of Human Services (Victoria) from 'The way he tells it: relationships after Black Saturday' (Parkinson, D., 2012.) This report found that family violence increased after the 2009 Victorian bushfires. For some women, this was a new and terrifying experience, while others experienced an escalation of violent and abusive behaviours from their partners. Women who sought help often did not get it; sometimes they were handballed from service to service, their concerns disregarded by friends and family and advised that their partner’s behaviour would pass.

Training in Numurkah 2012This year DHS has reviewed its family violence recording process. Workers are now undergoing training to recognise and respond to family violence after a disaster. It is a step forward in gathering a solid evidence base that will reflect a more accurate picture of the incidence of family violence in the aftermath of natural disaster.

Training package: Here you will find the training notes, Power Points, participant workbook and evaluation sheet to assist you in understanding family violence in this context and to equip you with materials to present a Family Violence After natural Disaster workshop. Australian statistics and information are used in the package but you can add your local information, statistics and contact details to ensure it is relevant to your locality.

You may simply wish to be informed of the issues and to improve your own knowledge and practice, however, the rich exchange of information, networking, sharing of concerns and creative solutions can only be found in the group setting. This is an invaluable opportunity for face to face meeting with your local family violence or sexual assault workers who can provide important local information and advice on the best strategies for referral.

Photo : WHGNE trainers Claire Zara and Rachael Mackay with
Moira Shire Flood Recovery workers

Media Release: Family Violence after Disaster
Training in Numurkah 2012
Download File 69KB





Family violence after disaster training package

Facilitators Manual Facilitator’s Manual download
Participant’s Workbook download
PowerPoint Slides download
Certificate Template download
Evaluation Sheet download


Additional resources

The way he tells is: Relationships after Black Saturday (Parkinson, D. 2012) download
Snapshot 1 - Women and Disaster Relationship violence is a taboo subject. It’s always been hard for women to report, but this is taken to a new level after a disaster. download
Snapshot 2 - Gender in Disaster The relevance of gender in disaster risk. There are different vulnerabilities in disaster depending on gender. download
Snapshot 3 - The Hidden Disaster Women’s experiences of the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires were researched. These are the findings regarding family violence – in a nutshell. download
Snapshot 4 - Checklists Checklists to keep women and children safe for: Disaster prevention, response & recovery services download
What can we do? download
Domestic Violence: why men abuse women (article) download
Preventing violence against women (article) download


Contacting local services: We suggest that, after examining the materials, you consider contacting your local women’s health, family or domestic violence or sexual assault agency to organise a workshop for your sector. Do ensure that members of emergency response and recovery agencies, including local council recovery workers, Red Cross, counselling services, churches, who are often the first port of call for people in distress, are included in your workshop. It will be time well spent.

To ask us any questions about this training or ways you could adapt it to your agency or network, or if you would like us to facilitate your Family Violence After Disaster training, please contact the facilitators, Claire Zara and Rachael Mackay 03 5722 3009 or at

While you are free to use these materials, we ask that you acknowledge Women’s Health Goulburn North East, and also, if possible give us any feedback you may gather.