CICJ researcher Barbora Hola together with the NSCR researchers Veroni Eichelsheim and Marie Lindegaard have been awarded a grant for research entitled “Breaking the Cycle of Violence in Post-Conflict Settings: The Potential of Community-Based Sociotherapy in Rwanda”. The grant has been awarded within the NWO-WOTRO funding scheme “Applied Research Fund of the Security & Rule of Law”. The research project is a cooperation with professor Annemiek Richters (UvA) and the Prison Foundation Rwanda.
Summary of the research
A ‘cycle of violence’ model offers a framework for examining the impact of mass violence and its aftermath on family functioning, parenting and child development. It suggests that violence transfers from one generation to the next; a transfer that takes place within families, on the level of specific communities and/or within a society at large. This project will primarily focus on disturbed family dynamics generated by mass violence and its aftermath, its potential negative impact on the ‘next generations’ in terms of breeding tendencies towards future violence, and the potential of community-based sociotherapy programme to prevent this. By using semi-structured interviews, we will get evidence-based insights into the effects of sociotherapy implemented in Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide (see: www.sociotherapy.org) on familial relationships, the upbringing of children and transfer of violent attitudes. We will assess in what ways and with what reasons sociotherapy can break the cycle of violence. These insights will contribute to better understandings of the consequences of mass violence for future generations, provide policy-relevant tools for redesigning existing strategies to prevent the cycle of violence.