Monday, March 24, 2008

Psychosocial Trauma and Restitution

"The concept of “psychosocial trauma” developed by Ignacio Martin-Baro can help us understand the restitution process. He believed that when an injury that affects people has been produced, nourished, and maintained through a certain set of social relations, then individual solutions are not effective.

"The social context responsible for the injury has to be taken into account. A new “social contract” to heal the trauma is needed, incorporating individual and socio-political factors into the equation.

"In the case of the disappeared children, their loss of identity represents a trauma affecting not only their individual lives but also their relationship with society. For this relationship to be restored, the social distortions that took place need to be exposed.

"Restitution brings into focus the trauma’s social dimension, as it provides the wider context for each individual story. Truth and justice must be part of the picture, if the children are to construct a meaningful future for themselves as individuals and as members of society."

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