What are the psychological implications on child survivors of the Rwandan genocide? The Rwandan genocide of 1994 was one of the most brutal massacres in history with over a million people killed in less than 100 days. Some of the outcomes of this for the still living are multiple cases of psychological trauma, incidents of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and several mental health issues as perpetrators as well as survivor victims grapple with the scale of the carnage that took place in the country. This research looks at the psychological effect of genocide survivors, particularly on children aged 8-18, with regards to posttraumatic-stress disorder, trauma, depression and anxiety. Methodology for data collection include surveys, measuring trauma on the IES (Impact of Event Scale) and first person accounts. This research showed that some sub-groups within the age group of 8-18 are more vulnerable to mental health issues, particularly children who are also heads of households, older children (13-18) and females. It highlights the need for adequate and immediate need for mental health care for those children. However, due to lack of education, poverty and/or geographic location, several thousand children are kept from receiving them.
Shivani Suresh, ’15
Sponsor: Carol Z. Enns