Teuta: Escape and Return

In this piece,  Besire, a trauma psychotherapist/psychologist in Pristina, Kosovo interviews and makes a few comments for context.  She herself was a refugee who survived very difficult times.  She wanted the women’s stories to break through the walls of her office into the world and did the women. here must s be pointed out that stories are given with the consent of clients.  These stories need to be held, cradled and the women celebrated for their… Continue reading

Unable to Speak Their Truth

An Ashlar associate describes a barrier to healing for women in traditional cultures who were raped during war. (note: English is not her native language – these are her words with little editing) Before the war, our society had close connections, large families which were very close emotionally. Since the war ended, not only had huge losses, with regard to the dead, but also has a sense of detachment, lack of connections. Many large families… Continue reading

Journey of Survivors: Sexual Violence in War

Eliminating Sexual Violence in War, was the summit held in London on June 10th, 2014. This Summit welcomed over 900 experts, NGOs, survivors, faith leaders, and international organizations from more than 140 countries.  It was the biggest global meeting on this issue ever convened. According to Amnesty International, rape is now used deliberately as a military strategy… by the spread of AIDS, and by eliminating cultural and religious traditions. British Foreign Secretary William Hague co-chaired… Continue reading

Odette: No home, no shoes

I did not know that I was a refugee until one day in school in Uganda. I must have been six or seven years old. We were playing a skipping rope game with teams. I was very good at it jumping up and down in my little bare feet – I did not get shoes until I was much older. My team was winning. One of the other team’s children didn’t like that.  “Go back… Continue reading

Flora: Tanks in the Front Yard

Flora, a 50 year old woman, and mother of six children, is from rural Drenica Valley in Kosovo, the valley that was the hardest hit and most destroyed by war. When the war started in Drenica in February 1998,  Flora’s civilian husband, Faton, was attacked in their home by the Serbian police several times and nearly beaten to death in front of Flora and the children. When the beating was over, Faton knew he would… Continue reading

Grace’s story: Sleeping in Trees

Naivasha is a very old town in the Great Rift Valley, which was started during the construction of the railway line in 1800’s. The railway line passed through there on its way to Uganda, near lake Victoria which is the source of river Nile, which serves water in Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt countries in Africa.  This is a town which is famous for wildlife and some of white settler like Lord Dalemere lived here and his… Continue reading

Wartime Pregnancy

Sanije is now a 38 years old woman, the mother of two children.  She was only 23 year when her husband was killed and left her with the child one year old and two months pregnant.  As with many of our posts, the story is in her own words except where it interferes with being understood… For me holidays never had any sense. My father died when I was seven year old. We were seven… Continue reading





“Many criminals and hostile tribes were there during the day and killing people at night. During the day I could accompany my aunt to look for the missing people. We could identify those fallen dead with arrows on their bodies. Many women raped and left for dead were very many.”