Disaster Clinical Program [DCP]
Workshop in “Agora”
Women and Trauma in Response to Abuse
Bonnie Buchele, Ph.D.
(International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes, Executive board member )
Time: 9:30-11:40, 14:30-17:30
Language: English (Japanese translation available) Participant: Citizen and Professional
Throughout the ages and in many cultures of the world women have experienced abuse. Often with lesser status and because of their child-rearing capabilities and responsibilities, they occupy roles that leave them vulnerable to being mistreated. Rape, incest, physical abuse, emotional threat and being forced to witness harm to their children are some forms of this maltreatment. While certain types of abuse of women can appear to be sexual in nature, they are actually less sexual with violence as the primary component and sex sometimes utilized as a weapon. Very frequently women stay silent about these fears and experiences because they are filled with shame and guilt. In fact, it is not unusual for the woman to feel that she has acted in some way that caused her to be abused. Keeping the abuse secret can lead to consequences that can include low self-esteem, high anxiety, nightmares, startle reactions, depression and can even contribute to panic attacks and eating disorders. Vulnerability to heightened reactions to subsequent traumatic events such as earthquakes can also be an aftereffect. Efficacious treatment of the various abuses of women does exist and when women can obtain that treatment, prognosis is good for them and ultimately for their families. In this workshop we will discuss the special experiences of trauma to which women can be subjected, the effects of the trauma and successful treatment. Special attention will be given to the role of the culture in the existence of the abuses themselves as well as what can constitute effective treatment and recovery.