Refugee women survivors of war related sexualised violence: a multicultural framework for service provision in resettlement countries

Yohani, S. C., & Hagen, K. T. (2010). Refugee women survivors of war related sexualised violence: a multicultural framework for service provision in resettlement countries. Intervention, 8(3), 207-222.

This paper explores the question of redressing war related sexualised violence, often referred to as war rape, with refugee women in resettlement contexts using a Canadian case example. The first part of the paper uses theory and research to frame sexualised violence as a tool of war whose practice and impact are shaped by gender and cultural factors. This section highlights how, for survivors, the combination of psychological trauma and socio-cultural factors in post migration environments can create barriers for seeking help, social support, as well as vulnerability to further victimisation and mental health difficulties. The second section provides a case example of a community based mental health initiative in Canada for survivors of war related sexualised violence. The case explores the use of a psychosocial framework that integrates cultural competency, gender perspectives, and community advocacy. Challenges and opportunities of service provision in resettlement contexts are discussed, and recommendations are provided for multicultural mental health practice that is collaborative, community oriented, and sensitive to trauma survivors' needs.

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