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Domestic Violence and Refugee Trauma: Clinical Implications and Interventions

Clinical Master Class Evening held on 9 September 2014

These recorded lectures are available to be viewed for a small fee at Owl Talks Lectures.

Understanding Violence and Refugee Trauma: Clinical Implications and Interventions

Dr Yaya de Andrade, PhD

In this brief presentation Dr de Andrade presented concepts related to domestic violence, and especially discuss aspects of language used by those who act violently at home, and those who are victims and survivors of domestic violence, as they experience it, witness it, and/or are threatened by it.

It is essential in dealing with domestic violence to realise that support and ‘buffers’ within families and the community may involve traditional and non traditional choices of individuals and services, cultural beliefs, family patterns, etc. These must be carefully assessed by those who may provide services for families involved in domestic violence. For example, there seem to be common elements in domestic violence such as economic disadvantage, male power and control, social isolation, history of abuse, torture, deprivation, depression and self destructive patterns, among others.

Domestic Violence and the Refugee Experience: Clinical Implications

Tajana Opacic

Experience of domestic violence has significant psychological impacts on post trauma reactions. In this presentation Tajana illustrated the impact of a long standing history of domestic violence on psychological functioning and its interactions with trauma reactions
associated with the refugee experience. Tajana presented a case of a female Iraqi client who is of Mandaean Sabean background and had experienced persecution and loss as a result of her ethnicity and religion. The case presentation illustrated the emergence of a complex clinical picture stemming from the interaction between traumatic experiences related to the client’s ethnicity and her long standing history of domestic violence. This presentation highlighted the interactions of fear response, perception of abandonment, traumatic grief, guilt and shame, and its effect on the client’s coping abilities. Tajana also demonstrated how various culturally appropriate clinical techniques were utilised to ensure safety and promote positive change to the client’s psychological wellbeing.

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