The psychosocial effects of conflict in the Third World

In current armed conflicts around the world, over 90 per cent of casualties
are civilians. This article reviews medical and anthropological evidence of
the psychosocial effects of extreme experiences such as torture, mutilation,
rape, and the violent displacement of communities.The consequences for
women and children are considered in particular. The author argues that
the social development programmes of non-governmental development
organisations should be extended to support social networks and institutions
in areas of conflict, and ends by giving guidelines for mental health
promoters working in traumatised communities.

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