Refugees and asylum seekers come from various parts of the neighbouring countries of Kenya and belong to different communities. They exhibit a myriad of mental health issues, such as trauma, as a result of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in relation to pre-war contexts, the conflict itself, experiences of flight and refugee camp settings. These complexities connected to the myriad of issues of SGBV make it necessary to address mental health care needs of refugees, who often come from unfamiliar terrains, and thus often challenge health care professionals as trauma issues in differing transcultural contexts need to be addressed. Based on a qualitative research study of two datasets of in-depth interviews with women and girl refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, the paper presents the context of trauma faced by women and refugees of SGBV, and the ways in which they resolve trauma and health issues using social networks and professional health care services. The findings of the study show that there are many ways in which refugee women and girls resolve trauma. Most often, women and girls try to resolve it through the use of social networks in the form of cultural and indigenous methods in order to find healing for mental trauma. Health and social work professionals are more focused on culturally relevant trauma informed systems and the utilization of informal networks to resolve trauma. The study emphasizes the need for an exploration of cultural interpretations of trauma and the need for flexible and adaptive approaches by professionals for interpreting and treating mental trauma and health care.
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- Resolving Trauma Associated with Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Transcultural Refugee Contexts in Kenya
Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen
- Chapter 12