The effects of sexual assault and post-traumatic stress disorders on the women of Butare, Rwanda after the 1994 genocide
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The study investigated the “Effects of Sexual Assault and PTSD on the Women of Butare (Huye) In Rwanda After the 1994 Genocide.” It was carried out between November and December 2008. The study specifically intended to identify the effects of PTSD on the victims of Sexual assault, to identify the needs of the affected women in Butare and to establish strategies to help the women in Butare cope with the effects of PTSD. The primary data was collected using questionaires, key informants interviews, and Focus Group Discussions from 50 respondents. The results from the field research revealed that effects of PTSD on women victims of sexual assault during the genocide in Rwanda are serious and therefore the need for the concerned stakeholders to intervene . It was also established that the needs of the victims of sexual assault have not been adquately addressed by the concerned stakeholders of society in Rwanda. Findings established that sexually abused incarcerated females have high levels of depression, PTSD symptoms, family stressors, and drug /alcohol abuse. The reseacher concluded that A successful implementation of treatment of women with PTSD was characterized by a health care setting that was fully supportive, training for staff, posters and brochures in waiting and exam rooms to indicate awareness of violence issues and the safety of disclosing them, chart review to monitor compliance and report back to medical staff, and a back-up person or team that can respond or consult when positive case identifications are made. Therefore, resaercher drafted several recommendations which included: The need to screen adolescent females for sexual abuse using a standardized protocol, not only at intake, but throughout the treatment process. Repetitive inquiry throughout the course of treatment results in substantial increases in self disclosure. The need to assist girls and women in letting go of the shame of silence and isolation about their experiences of sexual violence. One of the ways to do this is to no longer weigh them with the burden of finding a person to tell or a place to get help among other recommendations.