Displaced women wait in a line for food at the Seraif camp in southern Darfur. (Reuters photo)

Local traditions hinder psychological trauma treatment in South Darfur

A mental health and psychosocial support expert, Salma John, has said local customs and traditions are impeding the psychological treatment of survivors of violence in the Attash camp in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur State.

A mental health and psychosocial support expert, Salma John, has said local customs and traditions are impeding the psychological treatment of survivors of violence in the Attash camp in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur State.

She told Radio Tamazuj on Monday that she has been providing psychological support to several women in Nyala.

“According to the organizations I work with, there are 58 women who have been subjected to violations and we provide them with legal, psychological, health, and social services,” the health worker said.  “We are trained to receive cases that come to the Attash camp and provide health and awareness services but the victim has the right to accept or reject the service.”

John explained that stigma and society’s view of the victim represent a major obstacle to treatment.

“The psychological service is linked to social support. In the Darfur region, 90 percent of women are survivors or those exposed to sexual violence, and the majority are from simple families,” she stated. “The service providers also face great risks, including difficulty moving in light of the deteriorating security conditions.”

John demanded that the international community intervene and pressure the parties to stop the war so that peace prevails.

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