Journalistic perspective: Traumatized children and women in the Middle East


The presentation will start with a journalistic perspective on the Syrian/Iraqi conflict and on the living conditions of refugees in countries like Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan, Jordan and Lebanon. Their governments are mainly focused on providing practical services for refugees, such as housing, medical care and aid. Mental health care is not on their priority list, also because of the stigma – in the Middle East it is not common to visit a therapist when it comes to dealing with trauma. Most of the refugee children can overcome trauma by participating in psychosocial programs provided by NGO’s. However, sometimes –when the trauma is “fresh” or after severe trauma like losing family members- traumas cannot be processed by psychosocial programs alone. The victims need therapists. In Iraq, this is a big problem as there is lack of qualified personal. Another issue are Syrian girls and women living in poverty, who are often vulnerable for exploitation. In Jordan and Lebanon, Syrian girls are often married off before the age of 18. Some were forced to marry Saudi or Jordanian men who abused them and later divorced them. Also, the situation of Yezidi women who were enslaved by IS militants will be discussed and on how their (conservative) community is dealing with this. The presentation will provide lively examples of people met during journalistic expeditions, supported by images






Brenda Stoter

Original Work Citation

Stoter, B. (2016, June). Journalistic perspective: Traumatized children and women in the Middle East. In Refugee crisis in Europe and its implications for EMDR therapists.  Keynote - Roundtable presented at the at the 17th EMDR Europe Association Conference, The Hague



“Journalistic perspective: Traumatized children and women in the Middle East,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 26, 2022,

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