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Institutional Login. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Purchase Instant Access. View Preview. At the assessment it was clarified that reflecting on experiences of torture was an important aim of the group. The inclusion criterion was a willingness to acknowledge that they had experienced torture, including sexual torture. All clients were assured that there would be no pressure to disclose. Consent forms were translated into Tamil and noting rights and responsibilities of participants were completed.
Ten weekly group sessions were facilitated with the assistance of interpreters who were accredited by the Translating and Interpreting Service TIS. Each session lasted at least 2. In total, 46 men took part with 4 dropping out due to reasons linked to a surgery, work pressures, moving interstate, and preference for individual treatment. The majority had not engaged in previous treatment and reported that their shame prevented them from addressing medical issues such as anal bleeding, incontinence, pain, and discharge.
A majority were detained on multiple occasions and reported being targeted on suspicion of their allegiance to the LTTE or political parties. However, many were civilians and targeted because of ethnicity. Nearly all reported being unable to complete formal education. Group strategies MANTRA integrated multiple, culturally appropriate, strategies to address the complexity of the trauma that the men experienced.
Activities that incorporated movement and a willingness to explore were simultaneously introduced to pave the way for psychoeducation. For example, group games to illustrate the functioning of the brain were introduced. Metaphors and stories were then used to encourage. Mantra as a chant or instrument of the mind is associated with spirituality. Group discussions often veered towards a spiritual realm, particularly in context of the intimate and brutal nature of sexual torture. Individual sessions Participants were offered individual sessions to explore and process memories that were particularly challenging.
The group sessions may have paved the way for individual sessions as the majority had previously rejected individual counselling. In the individual sessions, participants could also record their testimony which was read back to them until they were satisfied that what was recorded accurately represented their experiences. Testimonies recorded in first person were a way of capturing participant voices. Themes from these testimonies were often mirrored in group sessions. The number of individual sessions ranged between one and six.
As additional time was needed to process painful memories, each individual session lasted at least ninety minutes, with a few taking up to three hours. Data analysis. Following the final session, a thematic content analysis of all data was independently conducted by both facilitators, prior to. This was used to identify the stages that the group went through as they explored their past and the dominant themes of their lived experiences over time.
If there was a disagreement in the themes and phases, as they emerged during the sessions, they were discussed to ensure better understanding and achieve a collaborative consensus. Table 2 represents an overview of the group processes and the themes that emerged as the groups progressed. Although it is a challenge to capture this nuanced interplay, the diagram attempts to depict the parallel and overlapping nature of the processes and themes.
Hence the perforated arrows that link into each other symbolise group processes and represent the fluid nature of this complex process. Overall, participants tended to initially discuss common themes that they all had witnessed before sharing personal experiences. Recurrent Themes Content analysis of the sessions established the nine recurrent themes captured below: Widespread destruction: Vivid images linked to the carnage and aftermath of the protracted civil war were recalled and included: frequent shelling and bombing; displacement from a young age; obliteration of homes and neighbourhood; dismembered bodies; and deaths of friends and family.
Fear for family members: Participants consistently voiced concerns for the safety of their families in Sri Lanka. Underlying this was guilt. They were safe but their loved ones continued to live precariously, be. Increased sensitivity to perceived discrimination: Continuous and ongoing discrimination, persecution and racism endured since childhood because of their Tamil ethnicity, was remembered. Participants vented their frustration that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection did not understand and acknowledge the communal trauma, grief, and loss of their ethnic group.
They drew parallels between their experience seeking asylum in Australia and persecution in Sri Lanka. The perceived lack of transparency and consistency in the asylum process in Australia was reminiscent of the actions of authorities in Sri Lanka. But here they have psychological torture. The world changed. A plane crashed and people died and the whole world talked about it but a nation came today and killed thousands of Tamils and no one cares.
I am very hurt as I watched my sister die in front of my own eyes. Finding safety in Australia: In all groups the distress linked to an uncertain future in Australia was unmistakable. Nevertheless, participants unequivocally expressed gratitude as they felt safe in Australia, despite separation from family and multiple losses. This feeling was supported by information related to the detention of Tamil asylums seekers upon their return to Sri Lanka. Tsunami: The impact of the tsunami that struck Sri Lanka on 26th December and the horror, devastation and loss that followed this natural disaster was highlighted.
The interrogation rooms were described as intimidating. Torture instruments, overpowering putrid smells and blood stained walls were clearly visible and evident. Their heads being forcibly immersed in polythene bags doused in petrol or chilli powder was also reported. Suspension by the ankles or wrists, beating of soles of the feet and being held in overcrowded cells or in solitary confinement were other methods described. Many recounted being exposed to sounds and sights of others being tortured.
A few also explained how there were injected with substances and forced to do labour jobs. Nearly all reported being given very little or no food to eat. Across all groups, the gradual progression of torture was mentioned as participants advised that intimidation and threats would progress to beating, mutilation and eventually sexual torture and rape. Squeezing testicles and beating the penis with sticks or rods was commonplace. Men also disclosed being penetrated anally, being forced to have oral sex where perpetrators ejaculated in their mouths or urinated on them.
Some men disclosed that objects such as plastic pipes were shoved into their anus and a barbed wire inserted through the pipe with the intent of causing internal damage. Participants recalled being denied appropriate medical treatment after being tortured. This resulted in ongoing physical health concerns including chronic pain, suspected urinary tract infections, and sexual dysfunction. It is established and true that in Sri Lanka it is abundant.
The other. Sexual torture and rape: Sexual torture was mentioned with trepidation. The impact and widespread use of rape as an instrument of torture was spoken about in all groups, almost as preparation for the men to focus on their own experiences. On Sundays I catch the train and the thoughts come back.
Even while sitting here I am thinking of the torture.
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I go back to what happened. A short circuit when the body shuts down. As a poignant example, one man did a self-portrait as a man sitting on a chair in the rain with his umbrella shut and closed next to him. They all know what happened there and the community will tease and degrade us. I am not sure if I will be able to have sex with a woman because of this. Some could not differentiate or understand the difference between sexual health and sexual dysfunction. Group Processes The following section outlines processes observed across groups over the course of ten sessions by theme.
Silence and trepidation: The initial phase characterised by trepidation, reflected by silence, tense body language, and restlessness. Some clients had difficulty being seated in the room for the duration of the session. Anticipatory fear of torture: The groups universally expressed that being sexually tortured was frightening and the possibility of this recurring terrified them more. Bachelor Boys: Men in the groups, who were in their late 20s and 30s and had been forced to flee their homes, shared their disappointment that culturally determined expectations and milestones such as marriage, parenthood, and an established career were disrupted.
We forget our ambition and aims when we come here. Distress tolerance and sharing life experiences: Reconnecting with themselves, participants began to develop trust in each other and the therapeutic process. This correlated with an increase in their ability to tolerate the challenge of exploring their past.
Experiences were reconnoitered—first the more commonly known incidents then gradually those that were more intimate. This generally involved beginning to speak about incidents witnessed by the community, before touching on those experienced by family, and finally themselves. Collective healing: emergence of leaders and empathy: In every group, a few would take the lead and begin to reflect and process their complex experiences. As they began to better understand their experiences, they then began to actively support and encourage other participants to think about the past.
As participants verbalised their collective traumatic experiences, they gradually experienced relief catharsis. They simultaneously enjoyed the reverie and benefits of being understood and validated by others. However, realising the benefits from the example of others, and a possible re-interpretation of their own experience, they eventually broke their silence. The men began to collectively explore experiences they had not shared with anyone before or were previously too afraid to think about.
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They were surprised to remember incidents they had not thought of in a long time and hence not mentioned in their initial timelines, such as important childhood events including displacement, loss of siblings, and the deaths of significant family members. Recalling these memories gave them a new perspective, release, and hope.
When I did share I felt unburdened and I realised that others had also been through torture and some worse than mine. Many often did not want to stop talking and would often linger after the end of the session with a need to continue. Several sessions were extended to ensure closure and grounding. This served to reduce feelings of shame and anxiety and dampen the intensity of their emotional responses. Meaning making: Participants came to understand that they had been primarily.
The understanding that violence had been perpetrated against them for reasons beyond their control, and that it was not their fault, also helped to reduce their sense of shame. They simultaneously began to recognise and acknowledge their own acts of courage in the midst of the horror of the experience as conveyed here: "It is because we are born Tamil that we have been targeted. The Tamils are a weak race, but listening to what others have said I began to understand what we have been through …and gave me the courage to talk about myself.
I like to share so others can know how to be careful. This could be understood as therapeutic activism. Self-reports Positive self-reports from participants indicate the benefits of MANTRA with nearly all reporting that they felt more confident about themselves and comfortable to speak about their traumatic memories. First I needed the opportunity and the confidence. There is a challenge between these two powers. I feel like you were teaching a small child how to speak and finally we have started to talk. I relieved myself by coming here. I met all these people and my behaviour has changed.
Evaluating outcomes related to an intervention linked to sexual torture is a challenge. The reluctance to disclose and deliberate the impact of an intimate experience like sexual torture makes it difficult to administer standardised evaluation techniques.
They are still in my head and that is a problem for me but I have the feeling that I want to live. Overall, participants reported greater ease in tackling daily challenges and often used humour in group activities and discussions in a manner that suggested that it was more than an avenue to discharge tension. Hence when reflecting on the groups, many related that it was the laughter they most remembered.
This was in contrast to their presentation in initial sessions and was indicative of the joy and comfort they experienced in sharing and connecting with each other. Initially, there had been embarrassment about attendance at a mental health service and their membership of a group for male survivors of sexual torture. However, by the end of the group sessions, there was a sense of trust and pride as participants did not hesitate to identify themselves as MANTRA members. Many men also suggested that we needed to establish a group for women as they believed women from their community had endured sexual violence.
A few referred their wives to the group for women. Clinician Observations Clinical observations evidenced cohesion in the groups as social capital was built. As participants grew in confidence to express themselves, it was also observed in their body language through improved eye contact and posture. Therefore, it was observed that a few men appeared noticeably younger during follow-up visits after the end of the group sessions.
For reasons of simplicity, a possible way to describe observed changes in participants is by classifying them into four broad and fluid categories based on their functioning, expectations related to therapeutic outcomes, and their relative therapeutic trajectories. Stoic: Participants with this profile presented as thoughtful and insightful. Appreciative of the support and direction being offered, they took on leadership roles in the group. They appeared to benefit the most as they were actively seeking and expecting improvements in their mental health.
Their resilience buoyed them towards therapeutic activism which influenced their choice to become involved in advocacy related to sexual torture. Skeptics: Participants who were verbose and could easily take the group away from the issue being discussed were more likely to belong to this group.
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They appeared preoccupied with their own difficulties. They faced family separations, perceived injustice by the government, and were finding it more difficult to cope. Needing more time to build trust, they accepted suggestions or strategies to improve their mental health only after questioning and deliberation. Writing their testimonies may have been a possible route. Although hoping for change, initially they were not convinced that they could share their experiences or really get better. Towards the end they felt they had enough confidence to share their personal experiences with family and friends.
Unsure of what to expect, they needed time to build trust. Nevertheless, they preferred to be given directions and readily placed the clinicians as experts, without genuinely believing their circumstances could shift. They were not coping adequately and displayed a tendency to be more evasive and silent.
They did not wish to stand out and tended to go along with what the dominant majority expressed. They reported a reluctance to share their experiences with others unless they had no options. They did not have much insight into their issues and were coping more effectively and defined torture experiences in a more subjective manner. Their attendance pattern was irregular and they were noncommittal about their willingness to share their past with family and friends.
A reluctance to talk about these experiences was universal in the initial group sessions. From this starting point, encouraging and guiding disclosure assisted the group to become more aware of not only their feelings but their coping strategies and hidden strengths that were influenced by their life experiences, including the wisdom inherent in their cultural heritage. Assisting survivors to access and make meaning of their memories— being dehumanised, humiliated and yet surviving—was therefore empowering.
Perceptions and reactions to sexual torture cannot be fully understood without due consideration to the cultural milieu that defines concepts of manhood and culpability. Myths that men are stronger and better able to deal with sexual torture or notions that it only occurs to women are challenged by the narratives of men in MANTRA. Unfortunately, very few perpetrators of sexual violence are prosecuted.
This impunity is one of the reasons why sexual violence is so rampant to date and widely used as an illicit weapon in conflict to repress and instil fear in both women and men. It is also one of the reasons that spark anticipatory fear as these acts can and often do re-occur. There is an increasing need to identify and document incidents of sexual torture and therapeutic interventions to assist survivors of sexual torture as there is a growing population at risk that still need urgent assistance and interventions. In spite of this need, there is a dearth of literature and there are limited campaigns that raise awareness about sexual violence or make.
This paper is a reflection of an emergent practice that developed in response to an urgent request for assistance from the Tamil community in NSW, Australia. The sample was largely self-selected as participants were predominantly referred through word of mouth. The authors did not intend this to be a research project and therefore acknowledge the importance of having a purposeful random sampling strategy to extend conclusions from this project across cultural groups. The inherent bias in relying on detailed notes in the analysis is also acknowledged.
Attempts were, however, made to address this issue in regular consultations with a senior clinician that were designed as part of good practice to ensure responsiveness to client and service needs. Participants own voices are reflected in their testimonies and a systematic analysis could potentially be conducted in a subsequent study; however, this is beyond the scope of this paper.
The lessons from this project could also be carried forward in future, through a more participatory style research project. However, given the silence that surrounds male rape,. Sexual torture including rape continues to be used as a weapon targeting men in wartorn countries. His request was for STARTTS to address the complex needs of other members from his community, who had survived sexual torture in the context of their anticipatory fear of forced repatriation and had an inability to think and talk about their experiences.
MANTRA involved a complex sequence of interventions and responses that are not easily explained by a simplistic theory of change. However, creating the space to share these horrors in a group setting can assist survivors to process and cope with them. The effectiveness of group therapy and culturally sensitive strategies adapted in MANTRA is consistent with current research Wietse et al.
The results obtained in MANTRA suggest that a combination of group and individual interventions are a valuable means of empowering survivors to revisit the past and address some of the social impacts of sexual torture. This includes the development of a robust screening tool to identify survivors of. A screening tool could assist to identify survivors and encourage them to think and process the past as a pathway to healing.
The importance of offering multi-level interventions which not only target the individual, but also the family and community systems in which they operate cannot be understated. Finally, the need for a more comprehensive evidence-based research is acknowledged to assist male survivors of sexual torture. Alcorn, T. Responding to sexual violence in armed conflict.
The Lancet, , The efficacy of psychosocial interventions for adults in the contexts of ongoing man-made violence: A systematic review. Health, 6, Callahan, K. A review of interpersonal-psychodynamic group psychotherapy outcomes for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 54 4 , Trauma and recovery. July Sexual violence against men and boys in armed conflict. In The War Report. Armed Conflict in Russell, W. Schopper, D. Responding to the needs of survivors of sexual violence: do we know what works?
International review of the Red Cross, 96 , Doi: Sexual violence against men in armed conflict. The European Journal of International Law, 18 2 , Hidden victims: The story of sexual violence against men in armed conflict. Sexual violence against men and women in war: A masculinities approach. Sexual and gender based violence in areas of armed aonflict: A systematic review of mental health and psychosocial support interventions. Conflict and Health, 7 A specific feature of children born as a result of genocide-rape is their struggle with self-identity as a descendant of both an unknown perpetrator father and a mother who is a victim of rape.
This can give them hope for the future and confidence in the present. Introduction: The genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda subjected thousands of women to rape as part of a range of other genocidal atrocities. This article explores what it means in everyday life to be a descendant of such mothers. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted in eastern Rwanda.
Topics focused on different aspects of the intergenerational transmission of trauma and the mitigation of this transmission by the psychosocial support from which their mothers benefited. The phenomenological method as developed by Giorgi was used to analyze the transcripts. Findings: All respondents, regardless of their birth circumstances, are marked by growing up with a severely traumatized mother. Children conceived during rape are specifically marked by the absence of a perpetrator father unknown to them, the others by the lack of many extended family members.
They all benefited from the psychosocial support provided to their mothers. Discussion: Genocidal rape causes specific kinds of suffering and specific identity problems for the children born as a consequence of genocide-rape. However, even if the children were not conceived during the rape, their level of suffering is similar. Conclusion: The effects of the intergenerational transmission of trauma related to the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda should be recognized among all youth deeply affected by it. Appropriate policies and programs should be designed and implemented to moderate the effects and strengthen resilience to ensure a peaceful future on an.
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Keywords: Genocide, rape, trauma transmission, intergenerational, Rwanda. All names used in this article are pseudonyms. The other four women only joined one or a few meetings at the start. Two had not experienced genocidal rape, one did not want her rape experience published, and another woman died shortly after the publication of life histories. The commemoration period runs from April 7th up to the end of July 31st. The first week is the most intense in terms of organized activities. But what I mostly focus on is asking her who my father is.
She has refused to tell me. I started to ask her this when I was in primary five. The teacher inquired about my age and whether my father was still alive. My school mates laughed at me. They said, that cannot be, since the genocide happened in , while I was born after it.
I felt challenged and spent the whole day crying there at school. I went back home before finishing class. When I reached home, I did my household chores as usual, but with anger. When it was around one in the morning, I woke up. I was sleeping in the same room as my mother. My mother responded that I should not ask her such a thing. Why should you ask that question? In response she said that my father is a worthless person, that she lost all her children except for the one she had carried on her back during the genocide and then that man raped her after the genocide.
But she told me that in a superficial way. We both cried and our discussion ended up with tears. Introduction The quote above is an excerpt of the story of Estonia,1 a young Rwandan woman born of rape. Her mother is one of the nineteen women who survived the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and who previously shared their life history with the research team.
All stories were published in a booklet in Kinyarwanda Kagoyire et al. Richters et al. Each year in April, prior to the annual genocide commemoration week,4 a meeting to emotionally prepare the women for the mourning process was held. Occasionally, details on a specific theme raised by the women in a previous meeting was discussed. In the meetings the women repeatedly expressed concerns about their children regarding: children dropping out of school and wandering around; children becoming street children; children raising questions about the genocide and family history that they did not know how to answer; and children becoming traumatized, angry, isolating themselves or rebellious.
One woman in that meeting responded to the above statement with: "I would say the same. They grew up through suffering and sadness. When they lack something, they can attribute it to the genocide. My daughter does not regularly attend school, she cannot succeed like others. They continue to think about the genocide.
There is no escape. They experience the consequences. It is incorporated somewhere, it sticks in their heart. We try to teach them that they should get reconciled. They do not agree. It remains in them. Scars are still there. This immediately brought to mind what Hirsch , p. Acknowledging that the concept of intergenerational transmission of trauma is somewhat contested in the literature cf.
The exact number of women raped, who were often gang-raped multiple times, during the genocide in Rwanda, or the children born of genocidal rape, will never be known. Perhaps the most accurate estimate of the number of women that were raped during the genocide is the one made by Bijleveld and colleagues Their lower estimation finds that there were over , female rape victims, of which only 50, may have survived.
However, this estimate hinges on a mortality estimate of , people. Figures collected in by the Rwandan Ministry of Local Government documented a minimum of , deaths MINALOC , which implies that the number of female rape survivors is likely to be higher than 50, Nowrojee estimated that between 2, and 5, children were born of genocide-rape.
More recent estimates by the Survivors Fund , a Non Governmental Organisation NGO supporting children born as a result of rape in Rwanda, identified the figure to. On the contrary, we argue that researchers before us have studied the problems of these children, at least those in Rwanda, in some depth. Zraly et al. The specific challenges that children born of rape face in their daily lives, as compared with children of mothers who were raped during the genocide, but who did not fall pregnant as a consequence, are explored.
Methods Twelve of the fifteen women with whom we regularly interacted after the publication of their life histories had a child between the age of years old. Thus the total sample size was twelve and all were born shortly before, during, or soon after the genocide. The next available child falling within the chosen age range was recruited to participate in the three cases where a selected child was not available.
The terms 'young people, 'youngsters', 'descendants' and 'children' are utilized throughout this article as a reference to our respondents: descendants of genocide-rape survivor mothers. Over recent decades, increasing attention has been given to sexual violence as an act of war and genocide. Children born of genocide-rape have gained significant attention; while children of women who experienced genocide-rape, but were not conceived during this rape, have been neglected.
One of the first to claim forced impregnation being a genocidal act was Carpenter , who highlighted the distinctive vulnerability of children born as a consequence of rape in conflict zones. Carpenter advocated for the human rights of these children and proper care for them cf. Carpenter, , Regarding sexual violence during the genocide in Rwanda, the focus was also primarily on the women raped cf. Amnesty International ; Nowrojee , while attention on the plight of their children born of rape gradually followed, primarily in newspaper articles at first e. Wax, and published interviews e.
Torgovnik, and, subsequently, in scholarly work, such as unpublished student theses e. Umulisa , book chapters e. Mukangendo, and articles e. Banyanga et al. The outcomes of the discussions held with the fifteen women and interactions with a selection of their children were reflected upon before writing this article. It was concluded that limiting the article.
The sample comprised seven females and five males. Nine were in secondary school and the remaining three dropped out. According to their mothers, five were born of rape. Two of these five children openly shared this.
Three of the five children were born of rape during the genocide and two during the aftermath. Both of their fathers were killed during the genocide. Two other respondents were born of mothers who got married soon after the genocide and lost their husbands, due to death by natural causes after a few years of cohabitation, while the remaining three were born after the genocide from parents who are still alive.
Six respondents live with their widowed mothers. Five respondents live with their mother and her husband, while one woman did not know the whereabouts of her husband and the father of her children. The study started in with two focus group discussions FGDs which were attended by ten of the twelve youngsters.
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The two additional ones joined the study in its subsequent phase of individual semistructured interviews IIs. Throughout the study period, contact with individual respondents was maintained through phone or home visits and three informal meetings with a selection of respondents, culminating in a more formal FGD in All FGDs, interviews and informal meetings were undertaken in places where.
Respondents were informed that their confidentiality would be guaranteed and written informed consent forms were provided, read and signed by the respondents prior to the start of FGDs and interviews. Rwanda National Ethics Committee granted approval prior to data collection No. The FGDs lasted approximately one hour and interviews lasted approximately one hour and a half. Both FGDs and interviews were conducted in Kinyarwanda, audio recorded, and transcribed verbatim in English.
The transcripts were analysed following the phenomenological method as developed by Giorgi , which involves entering into the phenomenal world of the respondents to see how they situate themselves in their world. A coding framework was developed based on the emerging themes and a codebook was drafted. Next to the codebook, a simple table was designed to summarize the important points raised in response to each of the topics addressed in the FGDs and interviews.
Subsequently, similar themes were regrouped. In order to keep the original meaning of the text, some extracts were given to Kinyarwanda-speaking colleagues for cross-checking through backtranslation. The findings refer to different aspects of the effects of the transmission of trauma to respondents by their mothers. The first. However, when this void does get filled in, the distress of not knowing the family past is replaced by other distresses theme three. To be born and raised under difficult circumstances makes descendants struggle with their identity and how to represent themselves, which is theme number four.
The Man Question: male subordination and privilege by Nancy E. Dowd Call Number: E-Book. W66 E49 G4 P55 Cuklanz Call Number: E-Book. W66 B83 G7 also available as E-Book. B75 also available as E-Book. Unlikely Dissenters: white southern women in the fight for racial justice, by Anne Stefani Call Number: F A1 S74 Unwomanly Conduct: the challenges of intentional childlessness by Carolyn M. Morell Call Number: HQ M67 Giovatto Library. Renzetti; Charles H. Miley Call Number: HQ U5 V58 Giovatto Library. Selected Journals European Journal of Women's Studies Concerned with the complex theoretical and empirical relationship between women and the particular, and diverse, context of Europe.