Community Violence and Psychological Trauma: Exploring the Effectiveness of Services

Dr Karola Dillenburger,
Montserrat Fargas,
Rym Akhonzada
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Community violence in Northern Ireland (locally known as the “Troubles”) has a long history. In 1969, the latest period of intense violence begun; over 3,600 people lost their lives since and tens of thousands of people have been injured, intimidated, and bereaved. In 1994 ceasefires were negotiated and in 1998, the Good Friday Agreement was signed, At long last, in 2005 the IRA declared that the “war” was over.

Services for those affected by the Troubles have an equally long history. In the early years services were scant as much of the psychological sequel was not recognised or ever renounced. However, since the late 1990’s the needs of those affected by community violence is better recognised and there has been a substantial growth in services. Little remains known, however, about the long-term effectiveness of community or voluntary services.

In this paper we explore the effectiveness of voluntary services for people affected by violence in Northern Ireland. Utilising single-system, time series research methodology a range of different services were evaluated, including community-, psychology-, philosophy-, and education-based services. Pre-treatment and post-treatment measures included the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), Beck Depression Index (BDI) and Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS). Results are discussed in the context of theory, practice, and policy implications.

Keywords: Violence, Services, Evidence Based Practice
Stream: Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr Karola Dillenburger

Senior Lecturer, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen's University of Belfast

Montserrat Fargas

Research Fellow, Queen's University of Belfast

Rym Akhonzada

Research Co-odrinator, Queen's University of Belfast

Ref: H06P0230