Drawing on the author's previous and current fieldwork in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) and interactions with several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), this article asks whether some organizations that seek to help and support victims/-survivors of conflict-related sexual violence are potentially doing more harm than good. In developing this argument, the article's aim is neither to unjustly criticize NGOs nor to trivialize the challenges that victims/-survivors face. What it seeks to demonstrate, however, is that a heavy focus on the thematic of trauma can be counter-productive. Specifically, it critiques trauma as a disempowering, essentializing and collectivizing discourse. Calling for a meta discursive shift away from trauma and towards resilience, it argues that NGOs should give more attention to the families and communities of victims/-survivors. Families and communities, in this regard, constitute potential resilience resources that should be harnessed and strengthened.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations
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Research data supporting 'A comparative study of resilience in survivors of conflict-related sexual violence: New directions for transitional justice'