Take a stand and help escape the shadow of war in Iraq

On Thursday the 25th November, the United Nations’ will mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an event which carries significant meaning for girls and women across Iraq. In 2014, thousands of women and girls from religious minorities in northern Iraq were captured by ISIS and since the military defeat of the group, many have returned to their families and have been left traumatized by their experiences. 

But they face a host of challenges in accessing effective treatment and sometimes rehabilitation can also come with a social stigma. In 2015, the AMAR Foundation launched Escaping Darkness, the first national service in Iraq, that is specifically designed to provide support to people living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Today, AMAR are working to deliver long-term psychological assistance to women and girl survivors of ISIS. 

PTSD is caused by distressing events and someone with PTSD can relive traumatic events through nightmares, flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. A person may also have problems sleeping and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on a person's day-to-day life. PTSD can develop immediately after a traumatic event, or it can occur weeks, months or even years later. 

The emotional scars of war in Iraq are immense, with thousands of people needing mental health care assistance. This is why the AMAR Foundation are working with leading psychiatrists to train GPs in modern psychological care, along with training social workers so that they can also provide support in people's homes. To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, take a meaningful stand by supporting AMAR's Escaping Darkness, and together we can all escape the shadow of war.

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