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


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. 

Authors: Pilar Hernández, Amanda Romero


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

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at