Marital conflict in the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda: an explorative study within the context of community based sociotherapy

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Abstract

This article explores the ongoing impact of the genocide in Rwanda on marital relationships. Its specific focus are genocide related factors that generate relational trauma and the consequences of this trauma for the everyday lives of spouses affected by it. The qualitative study that informs this article was conducted within the context of a community based sociotherapy programme. The factors found to be contributing to traumatic marital conflict are categorised as those related to genocide perpetration and its consequences, refugeehood, victimisation by genocidal violence and its consequences, intermarriages, and being a descendant of a genocide survivor or a genocide perpetrator. Study participants give a relative high prevalence to factors regarding genocide perpetration, while they assume that the prevalence of traumatic marital conflict among the second generation may continue unless sufficient preventive measures are taken.

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