Tue 19 Nov 2019

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“Women Of Tomorrow” League Supports “Victims of Terrorism” By Preoccupying Them With “Accomplishment”

Syrian women in al-Hawl camp in al-Hasakah countryside - February 17, 2019 (AFP)

Syrian women in al-Hawl camp in al-Hasakah countryside - February 17, 2019 (AFP)

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The suffering of terrorism victims does not stop with the end of it or the vanishing of its causes. The ordeal and harshness the survivors have experienced stay inside themselves unless their needs are addressed and physical, psychological  and social help is offered within long-term programs, which form a bridge to recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration.

It is here where the role of civil society entities and women’s organizations becomes the most prominent, helping the female victims of terrorism to overcome their suffering and to push them towards their healing, recovery, and remedy of wounds.

Female victims’ suffering augments when they are subjected to new violations by the surrounding community, which treat them as accomplices, not as victims of terrorism, let it be rape, slavery, beating or forced labor.  

Victims cannot survive by themselves nor can they save their families without receiving support from specialists and the surrounding community, so that they can regain their self-confidence as women and mothers.

League supporting women survivors

The “Women of Tomorrow” league is one of the organizations that has assisted a number of terrorism victims by providing psychological support programs, focusing on how to transcend the children and women’s difficulties through the efforts of the league’s expert women.

The league defines itself as “a group of highly qualified women who contribute services that benefit  women and children through educational development projects, with the aim of building the human being.”

The Director of the “Women of Tomorrow” league,  Nidal Hamadi al-Sheikh spoke to Enab Baladi about the league’s experience of dealing with victims of terrorism, by providing counseling and psychological support to overcome the profound effects they have experienced. 

Al-Sheikh indicated that “Women of Tomorrow” league consists of women academics who work voluntarily and with self-support, as to consolidate woman and child causes. Besides, some of its programs have specialized in working with Syrian women who have faced terrorist threats and became terrorism victims.

 

Lack of specialized support 

At present, there is no Syrian civil society organization mainly concerned with victims of terrorism or victims of the Islamic State (IS) although Syria is one of the countries heavily affected by terrorism, for it incubates the highest concentrations of victims of terrorism around the world, as described by al-Sheikh.

Additionally, al-Sheikh explained that the league targeted this segment through the provision of psychological support programs, to serve as a breathing space for women survivors, through which they can bring out all that they are holding inside, as to alleviate their pain and reduce the negative impact on their daily lives and that of their children.

 

Studying each separate case’s demands 

Nidal al-Sheikh acknowledged that providing support to victims of terrorism is not so easy, as it requires marathon sessions and specialized programs based on the assessment of each case, to uphold victims’ needs and rights.

In these sessions, victims express directly their needs, which the psychological support programs alone fail to fully meet, for the survivors/victims are a vulnerable group that has suffered a lot with no one to follow up their conditions or resolve the difficulties they are faced with. 

Moreover, al-Sheikh clarified that the league provided support to about 50 women through its programs, by listening to their problems and holding regular meetings of volunteers, during which they search for solutions with the assistance of the league’s experts.

Based on the experience she accumulated through working with the victims, al-Sheikh noted that to achieve positive results, it is important and practical to get women involved in educational and rehabilitation courses and to promote opportunities for women to permanently attend the largest number of programs that make them busy and feel that they are unforgettable, that they are important and powerful women. So, they can stop thinking about the past and free their current lives from the shackles of the past. These women should also be prepared to reintegrate into society and its activities.

It is, additionally, essential to establish special recreational programs for these women under the supervision of mental health experts, and provide childcare services for  mothers in the first place because what increases their suffering and pressure is to see their children neglected.

Al-Sheikh stressed that the feedback of the support programs initiated  by “Women of Tomorrow” league is evident in the reintegration of victims into society, the return of their self-esteem and strong will, which they deploy to get over what had happened and live in dignity.

 

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