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Sexual assaults, physical abuse against women increase during extreme weather: Study

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London, June 14 (Ajit Weekly News) Climate change could trigger a surge in domestic violence against women, a new study has warned.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have analysed previous studies and found a link between extreme weather and sexual assaults and physical abuse against women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities, the Daily Mail reported.

The team suggests the surge in violence during these events is driven by factors such as economic shock, social instability, enabling environments and stress, it said.

“Extreme events don’t themselves cause gender-based violence, but rather they exacerbate the drivers of violence or create environments that enable this type of behaviour,” said Kim van Daalen, an author of the study.

From 2000 to 2019, nearly four billion people around the world were affected by floods, droughts, and storms – with more than 300,000 fatalities, according to the researchers.

Worryingly, climate models indicate that these extreme weather events will get even worse as climate change progresses.

In the study, the researchers analysed 41 previous studies that explored extreme events alongside gender-based violence.

Their analysis revealed that gender-based violence appears to be exacerbated by extreme weather and climate events, Daily Mail reported.

One example highlighted in the study is Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the US in August 2005.

In the aftermath, gender-based violence increased, particularly interpersonal violence or intimate partner violence, and physical victimisation increased for women, Daily Mail reported.

A study on internally-displaced people in Mississippi also found that sexual violence and rates of intimate partner violence increased in the year following the disaster.

–Ajit Weekly News

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