14. January 2021 – BACK TO LIFE
Content note: Suicide
Ahlam Kéro (pictured left) and Asmahan Khidir (right), aged 15 and 20, were two young Yazidis who survived the physical terror by the ISIS militia, but not its psychological aftermath. They are two of a total of 11 Yazidis in Iraq who took their own life since the beginning of the new year. Most of these suicides occurred in IDP camps.
The causes of suicides are always complex and individual. But with the traumas and the psychological wounds inflicted by a genocide, every day becomes a severe test. When further stresses resulting from the ongoing global pandemic and the uncertainty of whether and when the displaced Yazidis will be able to return to their homes in the Sinjar region are added to, the risk is high for potential suicides among the survivors. Especially in the IDP camps in Iraq, there are still far too few psychological care services to alleviate psychological suffering. With our BACK TO LIFE Women’s Empowerment Center in one of the IDP camps, we offer psychological support (and vocational training) to female genocide survivors. But many more such services are needed. This is also the assessment of the research group led by psychologist Jan Ilhan Kizilhan, who has been working for years with Yazidis affected by the genocide in Iraq and Germany. Soon, his team will present a comprehensive study on suicides among Yazidi genocide survivors (read a statement concerning the recent suicides here). They urgently need new perspectives for continuing to live and trained trauma therapists in whom they can confide! Every soul counts.
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