We support women and girls in war and crisis zones



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Self-help group


Consciously reflect upon the challenges involved in the work on sexualised violence and trauma

medica mondiale gives its staff the opportunity to consciously reflect upon the special challenges involved in the work on sexualised violence and trauma individually, as a team or as an institution – offering, among other things, supervision and workshops to prevent burn-out syndromes. This enables staff to maintain their professional attitude and offer adequate help to clients despite the considerable emotional stress they are exposed to.

Sexualised violence

Sexual acts against the will of the other person; a crime against sexual self-determination

There are many forms of sexualised violence. The common feature is that a sexual act is carried out against the will of a person and contrary to their right of self-determination. Even non-physical acts such as sexual insults count as sexualised violence, as does sexual harassment in the form of uninvited kissing or touching. Further forms of sexualised violence include: rape, stalking, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced sexual or pornographic acts, forced pregnancy, genital mutilation, forced abortion, compulsory sterilisation and...


Sexualised wartime violence

Women as „Spoils of war“, sexual expression of aggression, serious human rights crime

Women have always been regarded by men as as "obvious" "spoils of war": their bodies symbolise the supposed honour of the men and their "violation" demonstrates power over them as opponents and shows superiority. Rape and torture of women are used in a targeted manner: to demoralise the opponent, for the purpose of ethnically-motivated displacement and as a means of social oppression. Therefore, the term "sexual violence" can be misleading: Rape is not an aggressive expression of sexuality, but a sexual expression of aggression (Translated from...



The religious law of Islam


STA – stress- and traumasensitive approach

Avoiding stress, preventing reactivation of trauma symptoms, strengthen the Resilience

STA = Stress- and Trauma-sensitive approach to strengthen the Resilience

A stress- and trauma-sensitive approach takes into account certain basic principles in dealing with people who have experienced violence. It involves avoiding additional stress to the affected persons, preventing reactivation of trauma symptoms, and thus strengthening and stabilizing the women and girls. Such an approach can be implemented in all of medica mondiale’s fields of work.

What understanding of gender and violence underlies the Stress- and...


Stigmatisation of survivors

When a person is raped the disgrace of the crime shifts from the perpetrator to the victim

Unlike any other crime, when a person is raped the disgrace of the crime shifts from the perpetrator to the victim. This often constitutes an unsolvable dilemma for women and girls. Remaining silent about the crime saves them from being stigmatised in their society but at the same time contributes to the fact that they are denied compensation, a little piece of justice and being able to see the perpetrator being excluded and punished. There are many reasons to remain silent about the crime: the fact that speaking about the crime is taboo, lack...


Stress and trauma dynamics among staff members

Reaction to working in contexts of violence: for example, perpetrator-victim attributions between team members at work.

Staff in organisations working in contexts of violence (e.g. refugees/IDP, domestic violence or wartime violence) are frequently subjected to ongoing, high levels of stress – whether this is caused by their direct contact to victims of violence or through continually reading or hearing about acts of violence. In post-conflict regions, the staff themselves have often experienced violence directly. Quite possibly they are also subjected to threats or insults because they assume a public and political position against violence.



Stress- and trauma-sensitivity (Basic principles)

Security, strengthening, solidarity, Mindful Organisational Culture and self-care

The basic principles of stress- and trauma-sensitivity presented below are guidelines for action. They counteract psychological and social dynamics which can be triggered by the existentially threatening traumatic experiences and then have destructive and stressful consequences:

1. Security

  • Reduce fear and stress in the face of threats.
  • Convey a sense of security despite the stress of simply surviving and/or fundamental insecurity.
  • Create trust and confidence in light of breaches of trust and loss of confidence in oneself or other people.





Long-term support for women

Sexualised violence and traumatisation in war have far-reaching consequences for the individual woman, for family systems and society as a whole. In the face of the profoundness and seriousness of the injury suffered, coming to terms with and integrating these traumatic experiences is a long process. medica mondiale develops projects that offer a basis for long-term support for women and are effective also beyond the termination of the project.