Case Study no 2: Susan’s Reintegration

Group 7 Indonesia (Irhash and Cahyo)

1. Psychosocial factor that affect Susan
During the war time Susan had experience (not only one) multi-traumatized experience such as :
  • being abducted by the rebellion group when she was 15
  • six day walking in intimidate, fear and insecure situation
  • witnessing her cousin and other children being killed during the abducted
  • being force to kill other children
  • being raped and sexual assaulted by group of rebellion people
  • forced to take the role as a wife of one of the rebellion army in the camp
  • having pregnancy and giving a birth in the camp with hardly no health facilities
  • being forced to do domestic work for the rebellion group and being porter for them
Those kinds of situation are much traumatized for children like Susan who live with no protection, feeling insecure, being intimidate and exploitation (physically and sexually exploitation). But in other hand we should she how strong and resilience Susan in that situation.
Although Susan is very strong person, those traumatized experience have psychosocial impact for her when she will be released and integrated with her family and communities during DRR program.
  • She might have intrusive memory and thought about her past experience in abduction situation. Then this could come in nightmare, avoidance to talk about the experience, avoid any situation that might trigger the intrusive memory and thought.
  • She might blame her self for what happened with her cousins and other boy and also with her sexual assault experience.
  • She might have negative self concept about herself because humiliated treatment she receive from the rebellion during the abduction
  • She might feel insecure, threat, fear and frightened because her experience living on those kind of situation. These could make her being alert all the time and have sleep difficulties problem.
  • Her condition as a teenage mother could add her distressful situation because additional burden as a teen mother and probably stigmatization from others on young children who become a household and a mother. She might also distress by the economical condition for her and her baby in the future since she don’t have appropriate skill to earn her family living.
  • She could also have social relationship problem with other because she might has difficulties on trusting other people. It can make her withdrawal from other or isolated herself. .
  • The sexual exploitation (being rape by rebellion) experience could make Susan feel deep humiliation and shame. It could make her feeling depressed. In other hand possibility of being infected by Sexual Infectious Disease and HIV-AIDS could make distressful situation for Susan
2. Plan of action for social reintegration and rehabilitation of Susan
  1. To make sure Susan and her baby are being protected and feeling secure after the release and before the reintegration process. A plan to place Susan in temporary shelter of temporary safe-place (safe-home) should be made to protect her and the baby from other threat and intimidation.
  2. To provided Susan with access to help her psychosocial healing and recovery process through counseling or any psychological intervention for her. A note should be made that this is optional discussed with Susan. It has to respected Susan’s rights and her best interest. This intervention should not be forceful or obligated intervention for Susan.
  3. To provided Susan and the baby with health care assessment and treatment such as possibility of any infectious or diseases. It also assesses possibility of mother and the baby nutrition and health condition.
  4. To completed any documentation about Susan, her baby and her family. It is also included the birth registration for the baby.
  5. Discussed with Susan her needs and plan for after release and reintegration process. Discussed with Susan what the best plan is for her and the baby welfare in the future. To provided Susan with some activities during her live in temporary shelter. These activity could be recreational activity, religious activity, educational activity, training for life skill activity, parenting education activity etc.
  6. To identified other family or community where Susan and the baby could live if she is not willing to reintegrate with her family and community.
  7. To identified and traced Susan’s (nuclear or extended family and community (village) where she came from if Susan has made a choice to reintegrate with her family. The tracing could used document tracing, Susan’s information or any information from other people or community
  8. After the tracing success in finding Susan’s family then we should discuss with family and community on Susan’s condition and possibility of Susan’s reintegration with them.
  9. To prepares Susan, her family and her village community for reintegration process. The preparations include reducing or minimizing stigma from the family and community on Susan’s abducted experience and her new role as a mother and household of her family. For Susan herself, the preparation include the process of self healing process, psychological preparedness’ living with her family and community, action plan for her and the baby during to anticipate any problem during reintegration process.
  10. To provided Susan and family with assistance in economical empowerment so they could supporting them self in the future. These assistances can be life skill training or micro economic allowance. The assistance should prioritize Susan because she is a mother of a baby right now. If her family and community could not support her and the baby economically this assistance could help them earning their living.
  11. Discussed with Susan, her family and village community (if needed) the protection plan for Susan and the family if her ex-husband and ex-husband’s family come to visit and force Susan and the baby to live with them
  12. Monitor for some period of time, the reintegration process (there should be home visit by social workers or local government officer). This should involve local stake holder in Susan’ village (village and community leader, Susan extended family)
3. Possibility of problem
  1. The healing process from Susan regarding of her past experience in war-time as abducted child, witnessing the death of other children, experience rape and sexual assault in rebellion camp and role as a rebellion’s wife. How she would deal with her intrusive memory and thought, how she would deal with her shattered assumption about the situation she involved in war, how she deal with grief and angry, self blame as survivor regarding of her cousin, how she would deal with second wounded from family and community.
  2. Susan’s adaptation with her new life. Adaptation process is not easy for children in the situation like Susan. She has to adapt and adjust her self to life in normal situation (not in camp or in juggle during war-time). She also has to adapt her role as a new mother for her baby with her teen-age. She also has to adapt and adjust her new role in her family and village community..
  3. The adaptation process Penerimaan keluarga terhadap Susan dan anaknya (terkait dengan anak hasil kekerasan seksual, pandangan terhadap mantan pemberontak)
  4. Susan’s role as a household for her baby regarding of economic sustainability for Susan and Susan’s family. Susan’ lacks of skill and education would create distressful situation for her to earn her living and her baby welfare. She as a head of her family and single mother should be responsible for nurturing her child as Susan, her family and her community expectation.
  5. The acceptance from the community. There are probably strong stigma and resistance among community member on Susan’s reintegration. There is also patriarchy culture influence the resistance of community regarding of ex combatant-single-teenage mother status of Susan. Stigma regarding of sexual assault experience by Susan might contribute to the resistance of community
4. How to alleviate the problem
There are some effort should be made to alleviate the problem and anticipate it.
  1. To prepared Susan with some life skill used for earning living in the future. The skill can be handcrafting skill, cooking skill or any micro business skill.
  2. To provided Susan with access to education. It includes formal education (literacy class) and parenting education
  3. Involving local stake holder (village leader and other community/ religious leader)
  4. Public education and discussion on reintegration combatant to the community to increase acceptances and reducing stigma.
  5. Possibility of collaborated with other individual/ organization or institution who could provide other service that our organization could not.