Survivors or torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (Sttars), Adelaide , Australia
In this presentation we would like to highlight the factors and the process that lead to the development of a very specific therapeutic approach in working with survivors of torture and trauma from Syria. This approach included a variety of modalities such as establishing
a Syrian Welcoming Group where women and men were invited together as a specific strategy to facilitate women’s participation in the group in particular married women who needed the support of their husbands to participate in the group. Nevertheless, this approach also enabled the working and the creation of the Syrian men’s group within the Syrian Welcoming Group.
The establishment of the Syrian Welcoming Group and the high number of participants that this group attracted became a critical point of feedback for members of the Syrian community, in this manner some members of the Syrian community reported their experiences of violence and racism in their neighborhoods and the difficulties that they faced in obtaining an appropriate response from the South Australian Police (SAPOL). SAPOL invited STTARS to deliver a structured series of training to 120 local police officers working in the areas where the majority of incidents had been reported.
In brief, in this presentation we would like to share the important learning that we had working with some survivors of the Syrian community as well as with working with SAPOL and also we would like to reflect about the elements that supported this culturally appropriate and safe community approach and that equally facilitated the inclusion of services such as SAPOL to increase safety.