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STA – Stress- and Trauma-sensitive Approach

Avoiding stress, preventing reactivation of trauma symptoms, strengthen the Resilience

STA – Stress- and Trauma-sensitive Approach to strengthen the Resilience

The Stress- and Trauma-sensitive Approach takes into account certain basic principles in dealing with people who have experienced violence. It involves avoiding additional stress to the affected persons, preventing reactivation of trauma symptoms, and thus strengthening and stabilizing the women and girls. Such an approach can be implemented in all of medica mondiale’s fields of work.

What understanding of gender and violence underlies the Stress- and Trauma-sensitive Approach (STA)?

  • The significance of gender roles and gender identities for stress and trauma: for men, women and LSBTIQ, traumatic experiences have particularly severe psychological effects when gender norms are violated.
  • Among all the various forms of violence (direct, indirect and structural), sexualised violence leads especially often to trauma reactions since it is a violation of gender identity for all genders.
  • Due to patriarchal power structures, around the world – including in situations of crisis or conflict – significantly more women than men experience gender-based violence. Women are also confronted with more severe negative psychosocial consequences from the violation of norms.
  • Sexualised violence against men and boys is made a taboo and has traumatic effects because it undermines stereotypical masculinity and a typically male capacity to act.
  • Gender-specific differences have to be named consistently and linked to the social and structural factors which they stem from.


Related topic

Supporting survivors of violence with a multi-sectoral, solidaritybased, Stress- and Trauma-sensitive Approach