2:10 am - Wednesday October 18, 2017

Experiences Of The Unrecognized War Victims & The Impact On Society

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Experiences Of Unrecognized War Victims & The Impact On Society.

      Experiences Of Unrecognized War Victims & The Impact On Society. Soldiers not only suffer on the battle field. Veterans often even long after war undergo series of physical, emotional and psychological traumas which if not properly cared for, can have a tour not only on the soldiers but the society at large most especially the immediate family members of the soldiers and the people within war zones.

From history, it can be observed that soldiers suffer from a variety of disorders, some mild, and others acute or severe. Majority of these soldiers sometimes notice the defects in their lives even while in active service whereas in some cases, these experiences do not start until the soldiers are long retired.

A handful of these disorders will include but not limited to;

  1. Withdrawal syndrome or depression
  2. Panic attacks
  3. Anger, Rage or a violent disposition
  4. Addiction to bad habits such as smoking, drinking  or even keeping late nights as coping mechanism
  5. Hallucination
  6. Shortness of memory and breath.

Each of the above mentioned conditions has its chain of negative effects.

Now, while the direct victims of war are the soldiers, there is a category of victims that is indirect and almost unrecognized but incidentally, are the most affected victims of war.

This category include;

  1. The immediate families of soldiers and
  2. People living within war or conflict areas.

Where as the earlier mentioned defects have their direct impacts on soldiers, the result or consequences of these defects is a ripple effect on the immediate families of the soldiers who live within close proximity with the soldiers and people within war zones.

  • The impact of withdrawal syndrome on a soldier implies that there is lost of relationship between him and members of his household (His wife & children). And where key decision making requires the input of both partners, the wife is left to battle it all alone which in some cases, may lead to other consequences. This also means that the emotional needs of the children are half met considering the father is no longer in the condition to  engage emotionally with his children.

Children who on the other hand depend on their caring adults for care, warmth, empathy and attention have their attachment frequently disrupted due to the unavailability of depressed or distracted parents. These all have impact on their relationship with the outside or larger world now and n the future.

Another dimension to this defect is the fact that, not only is the mother having to be responsible for keeping the home emotionally balance all by herself, she also has to be the source of financial support especially if the father is no longer in a stable state to gain any form of decent employment and his military payments are not sufficient to hold the family, all of which can cause a melt down on the entire family.

  • Panic attacks as another disorder imply that there is the lost of rational reasoning leaving the senses to be constantly controlled by fear. This also means that there is the misguided lost of trust and freedom in relating with the people in close contact ( In this case, family members).

When this happens, it becomes difficult for people living with such a person to approach him/her because at this point, they are living in constant fear of what he might do next.

  • Anger, rage or a violent disposition is the most physically damaging of all the disorders especially to family members.  A soldier in this state means that family members are at the risk of been battered uncontrollably and in most cases, without cause. This invariably implies that a culture of violence is gradually been introduced to the children who may grow up and tend toward violence to people around them whom ordinarily, they should love.
  • Shortness of memory and breath; Unfortunately, some of these conditions are as a result of certain types of training the soldiers undergo to make them combat ready and the after effects of these drills are conditions such as shortness of memory and or  breath among others.

When an officer suffers from shortness of memory, it means his brain no longer has the capacity to retain information accurately for long term. This also comes with frustration which can again trigger violent reactions and or anger leaving family members confused and constantly in fear of what next to expect.

  • Hallucination; Veterans suffer hallucinations due to trauma experience in battle from all kinds of violence such as having to brutally kill an opponent, watching other soldiers some even friends get tortured and killed, or even undergoing the torture oneself. This can leave an aftermath effect on soldiers where they constantly see things that in reality re not there. One of the negative impact of this disorder is that it makes the victim loose control over his mind. This can also result to uncontrolled anger.
  • Addiction to bad habits such as smoking, drinking or even keeping late nights as coping mechanism; As a result of the trauma experienced by distraught soldiers, some of them result to the above mentioned as coping mechanism which in themselves create other added health problems. This also widens the gap in relationship and communication between the victims and family members.

Children who find themselves under these circumstances are unconsciously been pushed away leaving them to seek these affirmations a child would naturally get from a loved one from peer groups or the outside world and in most cases, what they get or find outside is a contradiction of the real love they seek. This can lead to the destruction of some of these children.

While all of these may seem not so big a deal or new in themselves to some of us, the impact is that this is not an isolated minority case. We have more cases of officers with these conditions in more numbers than we should be comfortable with.

Most dangerous is the fact that while the officers may just be a single victim, members of his household are just as much affected and even in greater proportion.

Children growing under these kinds of atmosphere or conditions have 80% chances of manifesting a great majority of these traits whether they ever have any direct contact with war or not.

Women who have to live and raise children under these conditions are traumatized, emotionally trained and in some cases unstable which in turn affects their physical outputs in life generally.

So what seem like a one-man situation or a minority case in real essence is a major problem with a ripple effect on families and society at large such that if not tended, will lead to a disintegrated society or even a total collapse of a people.

Also, in the case of people living within conflict areas, we have instances where a certain proportion of war-affected children lose all adult protection – “unaccompanied children,” as they are known in refugee situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This leaves helpless and vulnerable children confused to fend for themselves. In most of these cases, the children themselves need care but are forced to assume the responsibilities of adults by having to look after their other siblings. These children no doubt cannot escape a number of physical, emotional and psychological disorders.

And then there is that part where some of these children whose entire family members have been wiped out by war may end up in substitute care with someone who cares for them only slightly – relatives or an orphanage.

Some children may lose the opportunity for education during war. These are children who are forced to move into refugee or displaced person camps, where they wait for years in miserable circumstances for normal life to resume, if it ever does. Consider a child disabled in war; they may, in addition to loss of a limb, sight, or cognitive capacity, lose the opportunity of schooling and of a social life.

A girl who is raped may be marginalized by her society and lose the opportunity for marriage. Long after the war has ended, these lives will never attain the potential they had before the impact of war.

The shame of war sexual violence against women and girls in conflict areas

Leaving the fight to the affected families alone will be the greatest of disservice to humanity needless to say or state the obvious fact that as long as we all come in contact with any of these affected persons, a portion of this distortion in the long run is sure to in some way or the other rub off on us.

How Do We Then Make War Less Damaging For Those Most Likely To Be Affected By It?

It is about time we society make it a persistent call that all countries especially war prone areas NOT ONLY implement the international humanitarian law regarding the protection of children or vulnerable people in war but also enforce its conscious and continuous practice.

The Geneva conventions and the conventions of the rights of the child directly deal with protection of, and provision for war affected people with regard to food, clothing, healthcare, education, respect for life, dignity and personal rights. Most importantly, it advocates for the reunion of victims to family members among other provisions.

These conventions are also intended to protect vulnerable people from ethnic cleansing and recruitment into arm forces among others. However, their implementation and practice has been very low in many countries irrespective of the fact that there is now more need for their conscious practice than ever going by the levels of crisis and devastation caused by war in most countries Nigeria inclusive.

Also, it is our responsibility as a society to insist that structures and measures be instituted to reduce or completely curb sexual exploitation and gender-base violence against women and girls caught in the midst of war. Soldiers and peace keeping officers on their part should be trained on the need to practice good morals as part of their duties to the nations they serve not to sexually abuse vulnerable people.

Again, ensuring there is a support system for reporting rape cases in refugees and Internally displaces people’s camp (IDPs) and the prosecution of same as war crimes against humanity are a few ways we can restore hope and confidence in the society to the victims of war.

Women and children’s interests should be included in peace agreement and there should be special consideration for vulnerable people who are fleeing from war affected areas, who live in IDPs especially children who are unaccompanied by adults.

Special considerations should be given to child-headed families.

In the instances of distribution of resources in a group setting, Special considerations should be given to women as oppose to men. This is because, even in times of emotional distraught, women have proven to be more prudent with the management of limited resources in the midst of crisis compared to their mare counterparts.

It is everyone’s duty to support a cause that promote the welfare of soldiers and war victims in whatever way we can no matter how little. The earlier we start to act, the better for us all as a people.

More pictures;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other References,  See also

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