September 22, 2010

Women of the Conflict

Medecines Sans Frontiers (2005) conducted a study on exposure to violence and psychosocial impact in two districts of Kashmir. A two-stage cluster household survey was carried out between 4.6.2005-16.8.2005 and 4.7.2005- 18.8.2005. Respondents reported frequent direct confrontations with violence since the start of conflict, includin3g exposure to crossfire (85.7%), round up raids (82.7%), the witnessing of torture (66.9%), rape (13.3%), and self-experience of forced labour (33.7%), arrests/kidnapping (16.9%), torture (12.9%), and sexual violence (11.6%). Over one-third of respondents (n = 510) were found to have symptoms of psychological distress (33.3%); women scoring significantly higher. A third of respondents had contemplated suicide (33.3%). Feelings of insecurity were associated with higher levels of psychological distress for both genders. The level of Sexual Violence in Kashmir is even higher than that of War-Torn countries like Sierra Leone, Srilanka and Columbia.

Source: Medecines Sans Frontiers Study

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