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Trauma

Association of Combatant Status and Sexual Violence with Health and Mental Health Outcomes in Postconflict Liberia

Citation:

Johnson, Kirsten, Jana Asher, Stephanie Rosborough, Amisha Raja, Rajesh Panjabi, Charles Beadling, and Lynn Lawry. 2008. “Association of Combatant Status and Sexual Violence with Health and Mental Health Outcomes in Postconflict Liberia.” JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association 300 (6): 676–90.

Authors: Kirsten Johnson, Jana Asher, Stephanie Rosborough, Amisha Raja, Rajesh Panjabi, Charles Beadling, Lynn Lawry

Abstract:

The article reports on the results of research which was conducted in an effort to assess the prevalence and impact of war related psychosocial trauma, including information on participation in the Liberian civil wars, exposure to sexual violence, social functioning and mental health. Researchers surveyed 1,666 adults over a three week period. They found that both female and male former combatants who experienced sexual violence had worse mental health outcomes than noncombatants and other former combatants who did not experience exposure to sexual violence.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2008

The Plural ‘Self’: Group Therapy with Bosnian Women Survivors of War

Citation:

Bolibok, Barbara. 2001. “The Plural ‘Self’: Group Therapy with Bosnian Women Survivors of War.” Smith College Studies in Social Work 71 (3): 459–72. doi:10.1080/00377310109517640.

Author: Barbara Bolibok

Abstract:

This theoretical exploration of forms of female self‐representation is based on a qualitative study of group therapy with Bosnian women survivors of war. It critiques the “self‐in‐relation” theories of female development for their reliance on a Western conception of selfhood. Borrowing the notion of the plural female subject from women's theory of autobiography, it provides an account of the Bosnian women survivors' efforts to heal from trauma that preserves their cultural integrity ("otherness"). The empirical part of the article analyzes group process in light of forms of female self‐representation. I argue that the Bosnian women's experience of healing can only be understood from the perspective of a collective experience that incorporates the representations of both “self" and "other." Although early in the stages of recover, the Bosnian women function at the level of an integrated and developed “communal (group) self.” Such a plural conception of self requires appropriate forms of treatment that question some underlying assumptions of Western forms of clinical intervention.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Trauma, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2001

The Trauma of Justice: Sexual Violence, Crimes Against Humanity and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Citation:

Campbell, Kirsten. 2004. “The Trauma of Justice: Sexual Violence, Crimes Against Humanity and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” Social & Legal Studies 13 (3): 329–50.

Author: Kirsten Campbell

Abstract:

This article explores the relationship between the concepts of trauma and justice in the jurisprudence of crimes against humanity of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, focusing upon cases of sexual violence. It argues that the Tribunal’s jurisprudence conceives this crime as a traumatic violation of both the subject of rights and of universal humanity. The Tribunal’s models of international justice as procedure, punishment, recognition and therapy understand justice as the legal suturing of this trauma. In these models, the notion of ‘justice’ functions as phantasy in the psychoanalytic sense of an imaginary scene that veils its impossibility. However, figuring international justice as the resolution of the trauma of crimes against humanity reiterates the traumatic wrong in humanitarian law. Humanitarian law therefore requires a new model of international justice - a model that does not reiterate the past but which can institute the future.

Topics: Health, Trauma, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2004

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. 

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

Healing in the Midst of Chaos: Nah We Yone’s African Women’s Wellness Group

Citation:

Akinsulure-Smith, Adeyinka M., Jessica B. Ghiglione, and Carrie Wollmershauser. 2008. “Healing in the Midst of Chaos: Nah We Yone’s African Women’s Wellness Group.” Women & Therapy 32 (1): 105-20. doi:10.1080/02703140802384602.

Authors: Adeyinka M. Akinsulure-Smith, Jessica B. Ghiglione, Carrie Wollmershauser

Abstract:

This article discusses the creative use of the group treatment modality to provide psychosocial support to African women refugees and asylum seekers with a history of refugee trauma, war, and human rights abuses who have fled to the United States. In particular, this article describes the African Women’s Wellness Group developed by Nah We Yone, Inc., a small grassroots organization in the New York City area. This women’s group draws on the tenets of traditional Western group psychotherapy while using African cultural awareness to provide healing. The rationale for this type of treatment, group design, specific techniques used to provide healing, along with various group-related themes and challenges are described. This type of treatment provides an example of the usefulness of group therapy technique with traumatized displaced women struggling to survive in a new cultural setting.

Keywords: African women, asylum seekers, refugees, trauma, war

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Health, Trauma, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Africa, Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2008

Gender Differences in Veterans Health Administration Mental Health Service Use: Effects of Age and Psychiatric Diagnosis

Citation:

Chatterjee, Sharmila, Maria E. Rath, Avron Spiro, Susan Eisen, Kevin L. Sloan, and Amy K. Rosen. 2009. “Gender Differences in Veterans Health Administration Mental Health Service Use: Effects of Age and Psychiatric Diagnosis.” Women’s Health Issues 19 (3): 176–84.

Authors: Sharmila Chatterjee, Maria E. Rath, Avron Spiro, Susan Eisen, Kevin L. Sloan, Amy K. Rosen

Abstract:

PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to compare gender differences in mental health disease burden and outpatient mental health utilization among veterans utilizing Veterans Health Administration (VHA) mental health services in fiscal year 1999 (FY99), after the first Gulf War and significant restructuring of VHA services.

METHODS: We used logistic regression to examine the relationships among gender, age, diagnostic groups, and utilization of mental health and specialty mental health services in a national sample of veterans. The sample included 782,789 veterans with at least 1 outpatient visit in the VHA in FY99 associated with a mental health or substance abuse (SA) diagnosis. Subgroup analyses were performed for 4 diagnostic categories: 1) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 2) SA disorders, 3) bipolar and psychotic disorders, and 4) mood and anxiety disorders.

MAIN FINDINGS: Younger women veterans (<35 years old) were significantly less likely and older women (> or =35) more likely to use any mental health services in comparison with their male counterparts. Similar findings were observed for younger women diagnosed with SA or mood and anxiety disorders, but not among veterans with PTSD or bipolar and psychotic disorders, among whom no there were no gender or age differences. In the case of specialized services for SA or PTSD, women younger than 55 with SA or PTSD were significantly less likely to use services than men.

CONCLUSION: Women veterans underutilized specialty mental health services in relation to men but receipt of mental health care overall in FY99 varied by age and diagnosis. Examining gender differences alone, without taking other factors into account, may not provide an adequate picture of women veterans' current mental health service needs.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Health, Mental Health, Trauma

Year: 2009

A Painful Purgatory: Grief and the Nicaraguan Mothers of the Disappeared

Citation:

Tully, Sheila R. 1995. “A Painful Purgatory: Grief and the Nicaraguan Mothers of the Disappeared.” Social Science & Medicine 40 (12): 1597–1610.

Author: Sheila R. Tully

Abstract:

In Latin America the past two decades have been marked by low-intensity conflicts, state-sponsored violence, and the creations of 'cultures of terror'. This research, conducted in Managua, Nicaragua during 1991-1992 examines the impact of political violence on a small group of women whose relatives were 'disappeared' during the Contra War. I discuss the lack of discourse about the disappeared and suggest possible reasons for this silence in the body politic, the community and the family.

The historical routinization of violence against the Nicaraguan poor and the continuing socio-political instability within the country present specific challenges to the healing processes of the Nicaraguan Mothers of the Disappeared. This article discusses some of the ways that these mothers challenge the collective silence and confront the public amnesia about what happened during the decade of war.

Keywords: Mothers of the Disappeared, low intensity warfare, suffering, terror

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Households, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 1995

Improving Nurse Practitioner Assessment of Woman Veterans

Citation:

Fitzgerald, Cynthia E. 2010. “Improving Nurse Practitioner Assessment of Woman Veterans.” Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 22 (7): 339–45.

Author: Cynthia E. Fitzgerald

Abstract:

PURPOSE: To provide nurse practitioners (NPs) with brief screening tools that can be used to identify postmilitary healthcare concerns common among women veterans.

DATA SOURCES: Existing screening tools for posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma.

CONCLUSIONS: Women represent more than 10% of military veterans who have served in combat settings during the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a result of their military service, women veterans may present in community healthcare settings with one or more of a variety of functional health problems, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or other evidence of significant physical or psychiatric stress. Their families may be temporarily or permanently unstable as a result of the disruption caused by their military service, deployment, or health status.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: NPs who are aware of the unique healthcare needs of women veterans returning from combat will be better prepared to assess and intervene when these patients present with symptoms or health consequences of military service. Simple, straightforward assessments can determine the extent to which women veteran patients require intervention during wartime and/or referral.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence

Year: 2010

Integrating Health Care for Mothers and Children in Refugee Camps and at District Level

Citation:

Hafeez, Assad, Rubina Riaz, Samin Ullah Shah, Javed Pervaiz, and David Southall. 2004. “Integrating Health Care for Mothers and Children in Refugee Camps and at District Level.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 328 (7443): 834–6.

Authors: Assad Hafeez, Rubina Riaz, Samin Ullah Shah, Javed Pervaiz, David Southall

Abstract:

Health care for mothers and children is inadequate in most refugee situations and in poorly resourced countries. The authors argue that, as well as providing primary (home based) care for basic health care, there is a need to integrate primary care with adequately functioning hospital based care for a healthcare system to succeed.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Trauma

Year: 2004

Refugee Women's Health: Collaborative Inquiry with Refugee Women in Rwanda

Citation:

Pavlish, Carol. 2005. “Refugee Women’s Health: Collaborative Inquiry with Refugee Women in Rwanda.” Health Care for Women International 26 (10): 880–96.

Author: Carol Pavlish

Abstract:

A collaborative capacity building experience in a Rwandan refugee camp with refugee women from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is described in this article. In service to the American Refugee Committee, I taught 13 refugee women how to plan and facilitate focus group sessions with the larger community of refugee women. The facilitators then conducted 18 focus group sessions gathering data from 100 refugee women. Thematic results included the health implications of poverty, the struggle to survive, the overburden of daily work, ambivalence about family planning, and the lack of freedom to express themselves.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Trauma Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda

Year: 2005

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