I will never forget some of my early conversations with Dr. David Berceli (creator of T.R.E.) beginning in 2004 when he had just returned from trauma recovery work in the southern regions of Sudan. He talked about the danger of not addressing Post-Traumatic Stress there because when a peace accord occurs, rates of domestic violence would increase.
Recently, I saw a piece in the Sudan Tribune, entitled, South Sudanese Woman Violently Murdered by Husband Reinforces the Harsh Brutality of Domestic Violence. After describing the extreme brutality this woman endured prior to her death, it goes on to add the following equally disturbing details:
Domestic violence is an entrenched social norm affecting the vast majority of the country. A survey… found that 82% of women and 81% of men believed that a woman should tolerate domestic violence to keep a family together. In addition… many customary judges [are] reluctant to acknowledge it as a problem with one stating that, “my mother was beaten, what’s wrong with that?”
Trauma, when left untreated breeds a host of secondary issues. Core beliefs and worldview are rooted in threat and danger. Within that, some are prone to acting as perpetrator, others prone to be victim. The narrative of trauma gets deeply entrenched, culturally and intrapsychically, affecting individuals, families, communities and entire societies.
Without being able to see a way out, it is far too painful to do anything other than adopt the deadened down state of resignation and despair that says, ‘this is just how life is’, and ‘what’s wrong with that?’
When I had those early conversations with Dave, I felt like he put words to so many of the things I had known only intuitively, as sensations in my gut. His work brought a different message. In contrast to ‘this is just how life is,’ it said, ‘life doesn’t have to be this way.’
When refugees leave the extreme suffering of their homeland, it doesn’t make the trauma just go away. Trauma, left untreated, often persists long-term. Yet, for those resettled in the San Diego area, one of the benefits of this location is access to the program we plan to offer, Trauma Recovery for Refugees.
Our next step towards that goal, scheduled to take place this fall is –– Phase 2: Educating Refugee Leaders About Trauma, PTSD & Recovery.
Can you help us make Trauma Recovery for Refugees a reality? A contribution of any size would be greatly appreciated.
Founder & Executive Director, Living Ubuntu
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More than 80% of refugees in San Diego suffer from symptoms of trauma & PTSD
Every human being truly becomes a human by means of relationships with other human being.