1er congrès de la Chaire Internationale Mukwege

Comment donner un avenir aux femmes et aux enfants victimes de violences sexuelles dans les conflits ?


depuis le 05 novembre 2019 :
Visualisation(s): 143 (3 ULiège)
Téléchargement(s): 0 (0 ULiège)
L. Verhaak

Treatment for victims of sexual abuse: extending the focus beyond trauma

Open Access


This presentation discusses the psychosocial support and mental health care offered by Equator Foundation, a NGO based in the capital region of the Netherlands. At Equator the psychological treatment approaches are tailored to the specific needs of victims of sexual abuse, who have fled their country of origin due to poverty, war and/or human trafficking. All victims of human trafficking that are living in the specialized shelter, are offered a weekly preventative group intervention on-site, focused on psycho education and coping strategies to deal with stress, sleep related problems, flashbacks and dissociation, anger and anxiety.

For victims affected by PTSD, treatment is mostly trauma-focused, narrative exposure therapy (NET) and eye movement reprocessing and desensitization (EMDR) are suitable approaches. However, mental health consequences of individual life histories and psychological problems resulting from traumatic experiences other than PTSD, may require a treatment focus beyond trauma. Personalized treatments are tailored to psychological needs and take patient preferences into consideration.

In accordance, additional treatment forms are provided, such as: a) psychomotor therapy, raising body awareness; b) schematherapy, breaking lifelong patterns; c) SAFE, a module aimed at preventing sexual revictimization; d) CBT module for disgust, which is a strong emotional reaction to sexual violence frequently unresponsive to trauma-focused treatment; e) a module on intimacy and sexuality, developed in response to the research finding that sexual complaints may persist after otherwise effective trauma treatment in victims of sexual violence.

Pour citer cet article

L. Verhaak, «Treatment for victims of sexual abuse: extending the focus beyond trauma», 1er congrès de la Chaire Internationale Mukwege [En ligne], Actes du colloque, URL : https://popups.uliege.be/chairemukwege/index.php?id=131.