How do you help a former captive reclaim her life? 

As a mental health therapist, I have asked myself this question over and over as the headlines chronicled the story of the girls captured by Boko Haram. It is the finite question that victims of all forms of trauma must enter into for healing.

What is trauma? Trauma is a medical term and it refers to an injury or wound. In Greek, trauma means wound, injury, and it comes from the verb “titrosko” – to pierce. Thus, the original meaning of trauma is the mark, the injury that is left as a result of the skin being pierced.

Data reports many instances of how those young girls kept hope alive. They maintained hope through social connections to one another. When they were released, many girls would call each other sister even though they weren’t sisters. They had helped each other through, given each other solace, looked out for each other’s safety, shared food.

Trauma is also experiencing the aftermath of earthquakes and the accounts of aftershocks in Nepal which have sent people running into the streets seeking safety.

How does reclaiming one’s life feel in a country devastated by the earth’s quaking?

How is reclaiming one’s life experienced in any situation of trauma, victimization, loss of economic capabilities?

Thousands of articles have been written about trauma survivors and data supports some core understandings:

Reclaiming opportunities for education

Reclaiming stability no matter the environment

Opportunity for sharing their stories

Opportunity to be with others who have a shared experience

The Offering of: Support/Care/Hope

No matter what the traumatic event, we are called to be a community of Support, Care and Hope!!!

Partnering together, Global Women’s Project offers hope in the reclaiming of lives.

Blessings in the journey together,

Carol Leland

GWP Steering Committee

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