Adolescent Girls in Colombia’s Guerrilla: An Exploration into Gender and Trauma Dynamics

Citation:

Hernández, Pilar, and Amanda Romero. 2003. “Adolescent Girls in Colombia’s Guerrilla: An Exploration into Gender and Trauma Dynamics.” Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community 26 (1): 21–38. doi:10.1300/J005v26n01_03.

Authors: Pilar Hernández, Amanda Romero

Abstract:

Armed combat in childhood and adolescence is a form of child abuse and a violation of International Humanitarian Law. This study explores the impact of guerrilla life in adolescent peasant girls coerced to join the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC). It analyzes their stories within the social context of the ongoing conflict in the country. Seven adolescent peasant girls were interviewed with a semi-structured format and the descriptive data were analyzed using the constant comparison method. Results reflect the ways in which they joined the guerrilla, and the traumatic aspects of gendered-based violence and combat exposure. An understanding of these traumatic experiences is discussed highlighting the continuum of patriarchal practices that make girls specific targets of sexual exploitation. Implications for rehabilitation programs are discussed.

Keywords: trauma, war, gender

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Health, Trauma, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state armed groups, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2003

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