Monday, March 29, 2010

Rwanda / Aftermath of Genocide

Coping with Survival after Genocide
By Michelle, March 24, 2010
"The damage of genocide is permanent, not just in the lives lost, families decimated, and cultures destroyed, but in the individual lives of survivors. While society rebuilds, the scars of trauma persist, like an unseen undercurrent carried quietly by those who learn how to live in a new 'post' reality. A recent study in Rwanda revealed that over 28 percent of the population suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with over 58 percent of those being women. Similar studies in post-genocide Cambodia found extremely high levels of trauma among the population, but, as one reporter notes, 'the issue gets little outside attention, and precious little money.' Advocates in Sri Lanka are drawing attention to PTSD in children who lived through the devastating civil war between the government and rebel Tamil militants, which included large-scale displacement and attacks on civilians, or children who were abducted into the fighting forces themselves. ... The government of Rwanda is doing the right thing by confronting this issue head on, as challenging a problem as it is to tackle. The memory and scars of genocide can never be taken away, lost loved ones can never be returned, and life will never be the same as before, but providing support and assistance to survivors can provide mechanisms to manage their trauma, and hopefully, in time, to ease it."

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