Trauma-sensitive psychosocial work
Depending on the society or social environment, the extent and consequences of violence against women are different, which should be reflected in the forms of psychosocial counselling and support offered. In its projects, medica mondiale works exclusively with local psychosocial counsellors. They know and understand the concerns and needs of the women, as well as the taboos in their society.
In many societies in our project countries, there are not many trained professionals to implement psychosocial and trauma-specific approaches in the local context, or further develop them where needed. Nor are there any context-specific approaches to processing trauma. So the stigma continues for women who have experienced sexualised violence. For these reasons, medica mondiale promotes intensive training for local staff and invites them to exchange experiences with colleagues from other medica mondiale partner organisations.
Development of context-specific approaches
Finally, medica mondiale works on the development of appropriate approaches to psychosocial support and stress- and trauma-sensitivity, together with local partner organisations. The aim of the psychosocial support and stabilisation of the women is to accompany them as they cope with their traumatic experiences and to empower them to live independently and safely, in spite of their experience of violence, in a social environment that recognises their suffering but also their will to survive and their strength.
Some of the aspects involved in this are restoring their self-esteem, acknowledging stress and trauma as signs of important survival responses, and strengthening connection and solidarity to reverse social isolation. Those affected should no longer feel completely defined by the past and their experience of violence, but instead should regain the ability to focus their attention on the present moment and their future.
See also “Stress- and Trauma-sensitive Approach (STA)"