Indonesia1_Case Rehabilitation and Reintegration

1. Psychosocial factors that may affect Susan
Susan might be have Depression and high risk of PTSD, including the following:
  • She may develop fear of armed group, which may affect her trust with the military or any formal agencies. She may run from the agency who found her
  • She might be afraid of meeting new people/ strangers and problem with trusting people, including her own family or people who used to be close to her
  • She may have aggression/ inappropriate social behavior
  • She may feel ashamed of herself - avoid telling/discussing her past experiences, especially local culture treats women differently
  • She may be detached of her feelings and emotions because she was conditioned to do so
  • She may have low self confidence or self esteem (after being raped and pregnant). She may withdraw from her community.
  • She may feel guilty about killing another or about her experience in general

2. PLAN OF ACTION for social integration and rehabilitation

I. Social Integration
A. Family reunification
  • Through the family tracing and reunification program, we can locate Susan’s family (step 1-3 of family tracing program).
  • In VERIFICATION step, we have to make sure that the family wants her back. We have to make sure that we prepare not only Susan, but also her family so that the family fully understand Susan’s current condition and her baby.
  • In REUNIFICATION, Susan and her family can be provided with conditional cash support because the family needs to care for Susan and her baby. We want to make sure the family does not see her condition and her baby as burden to the family.
  • In FOLLOW UP, we have to make sure the family takes care of Susan and that Susan’s condition improves. We also have to check on the baby’s health.

II. Rehabilitation effort

Rehabilitation should focus on 4 areas:

A. Psychological Wellbeing
  • Conduct assessment for PSTD and provide counseling to help Susan alleviate her trauma.
  • Teach her skills that can help her cope with her past experience, using adaptive coping strategy
  • Teach the family how to psychologically support Susan and deal with her trauma
  • Introduce Susan to religious services, sometimes, being involved in a religion practice or a spiritual belief can help her heal spiritually
  • If possible, create a girl’s only support group or some other activities that allow Susan to express herself. The activities can be in the form of art, sport or music therapy
  • Teach her parenting skills so she can raise her baby normally

B. Social Functioning
  • Teach Susan on safety and appropriate codes of conduct
  • Re-establish self-regulatory process to make sure Susan develop proper and acceptable behavior
  • Socialize security-seeking appraisal and behavior
  • Work with Susan’s family, local community leaders, religious leaders to do a ceremony. (Susan or family may not want to go through this for concerns of being labeled or stigmatized)
  • Conduct a sensitization campaign
  • Work with community to make sure that they are fully accepting Susan and that they will not single her out for her past experience
  • If possible, coordinate support to help Susan care for her baby so she has time to do other activities

C. Education and vocational skills
  • Provide Susan with vocational training and informal education so that she can earn a living for herself and her baby. If possible provide apprenticeships.
  • To help with the transition, especially that Susan comes back with a baby, a stipend can be provided

D. Health
  • Provide health voucher or support for Susan and her baby
  • Since she was raped, check for any damage; test for HIV for both the mother and the baby; test for any life threatening condition

E. Protection
  • We have to make sure Susan lives and works in a safe environment
  • The family or community may have to provide protection for Susan given the fact that she was raped. Some of the local people may label her and treat her unfavorably.
  • Provide mentorship to help Susan during transition time

3. What could be the problems/pitfalls of the above plan?

  • Susan might severely affected by the killing and / or the raping, which cause her having PTSD. This situation may take several years to recover so there is a possibility that Susan could not raise or taking care of her child
  • In the stigmatizing society, Susan’s family nor the community itself may not want to accept her back so this could cause her be left out or unaccompanied. Without support from her family and/or the community, Susan might feel abandoned and her condition could be worse than when she was with the armed groups
  • The community may see her as bad luck; they may harass her
  • Even if her family and/or the community accept her, if she fails to integrate herself well, she may feel out of place. She may run away from home, she may abandon her baby, she may cause problems in her home or community, or she may even commit suicide

4. How to alleviate these problems?

  • A national civil society group, working on issue of girl’s rights violations and protection, must be involved in Susan’s case during the psychosocial and rehabilitation process
  • Given the many similar cases, a shelter for girls, who had been the casualties of gender based violence or war, must be provided so that these girls can stay there, just in case their families do not wish to have them back. For pregnant girls, they can stay at the shelter until they have the babies. At a minimum, their health and the babies’ health are monitored
  • Provide day care centers for young mothers and their babies so the young mothers can do activities while the children/babies are cared for
  • Given the young age of the mother, in this case Susan is 15 years old, her capacity as a mother is questioned. At 15, she is not able to take care of herself well, let alone a baby. Therefore, a child service institution must be involved in taking care of the newborn child. A legal adoption could be arranged by child service institution if the mother considers adoption as an option