What are the psychosocial health realities of women surviving wartime sexual violence in africa? a rapid qualitative systematic review
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Université de Montréal Canada
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1701
Africa has been marked with several armed conflicts in the past years. These armed conflicts often create favorable situations where a particular weapon of war is used against the population: wartime sexual violence. Women surviving wartime sexual violence are living with multiple trauma related consequences.

Using an original framework based on the theory of wartime sexual violence as a weapon of war and the nine categories of genocide rape trauma by Mukamana et al (2018), this review aims to explore the psychosocial wellbeing of women surviving wartime sexual violence in Africa.

This rapid qualitative systematic review followed the JBI Evidence Synthesis approach to conduct such studies. Two data bases have been consulted as part of the search strategy: 1) Medline (n=136) and 2) APA PsychInfo (n=172). After the selection process, 17 articles have been selected to be included in the study according to our criteria of inclusion. Data extraction was done using Covidence. The synthesis and interpretation of results was based on Harden and Thomas (2008) method for thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews using Nvivo 12. The results have been evaluated using Grade CERQual. Results: 1) Women surviving wartime sexual violence are experimenting overwhelming feelings and unbearable memories the most; 2) psychosocial health is affected by stigmatization, which is guided by cultural norms; 3) our framework does not account for two elements: i) the resilience emerging for the women surviving wartime sexual violence that is based on their faith and support from their communities and ii) the needs for institutional and educational changes and 4) the literature does not have enough information on the perception of women surviving wartime sexual violence regarding the framework used in the study on their psychosocial wellbeing.

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