Preventing trauma-related symptoms in the aftermath of sexual abuse

Childhood sexual abuse has severe mental health consequences for children and adolescents. Even though there is evidence for a variety of psychotherapeutic treatments, little evidence exists for preventive approaches interventions, particularly in (post-)conflict and crisis region with little or no mental health care services. Building on research illustrating the necessity to address memory processes and parental rejection experiences in the aftermath of sexual assault, we evaluate a family intervention combining psychoeducation with elements of Narrative Exposure Therapy.


Impact of childhood violence, parental rejection, and sexual violence of underaged mothers on mother-child relationships

Childhood maltreatment and parental rejection have serious consequences for mental health of adolescents. Furthermore, intergenerational research suggests that they have long-lasting impacts future generations by perpetuating violence against offspring and affecting child-rearing capacities. These effects might be more pronounced in underaged mothers who got pregnant involuntarily in (post-)conflict regions. We assume that these experiences affect their attitudes towards their new-born children and thereby impair secure mother-child bonding very early on.


How we remember: The impact of individual and communal narrative exposure on social exclusion, stigma and shame

Traumatic experiences affect the mental health of individuals but also community cohesion. Especially, if entire communities are affected by organized violence social support within these communities is affected because of trauma-related disorders, diminished openness of reconciliation, and stigmatizing attitudes. This might cause maladaptive shame coping behaviors within the community, which is likely to affect intergenerational mental well-being. Aiming to stop a vicious cycle of violence within affected communities, we aim at evaluating the impact of a community focused approach addressing stigmatization and social exclusion on shame coping of traumatized individuals, and their families.