The ligaments of counter-terrorism regime: sexual violence and the vicarious traumatisation of female non-governmental organisation workers: evidence from Nigeria

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Abstract

There is a dearth of studies on indirect victims of sexual violence in counter-terrorism efforts. Using Nigeria as a case study, this paper argues that global and state-level counter-terrorism policies have generally failed to account for the psychological effects of the engagement of female NGO workers in counter-terrorism operations or mitigating the effects of terrorism in conflict zones. Specifically, there has been an increase in sexual violence perpetrated by some members of the security agencies involved in counter-terrorism operations in North-eastern Nigeria. As a result, female NGO workers carry out Medicare, psychosocial counselling and advocacy for these victims. Female NGO workers become exposed to the trauma of victims of sexual violence, which affects their mental health and thus performances in counter-terrorism activities in the country. This altered their worldview on issues of safety even among secured locations or among the presence of security agents and reinforced feelings of powerlessness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1233-1263
Number of pages30
JournalSmall Wars and Insurgencies
Volume30
Issue number6-7
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Sept 2019

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