A Comparison Study of Trust and Safety for Men and Women Immigrant Survivors of Torture Ashley R. Brazil, Holloway N. Marston, Hollis Rabin, and Tina M. Sandora Adler School of Professional Psychology Summer 2012
Safety• Engaging in activities that promote a sense of physical security (PSOC research team, 2012).• “A state or situation characterized by adequate control of physical, material, or moral threats, which contributes to a perception of being sheltered from danger” (Nilsen, Hudson, Kullberg, Timpka, Ekman & Lindqvist, 2004).• “Safety is a state in which hazards and conditions leading to physical, psychological or material harm are controlled in order to preserve the health and well- being of individuals and the community” (WHO, 1998).
Trust• You cannot have trust if you do not have a sense of physical safety. (N. Bothne, personal communication, My 22, 2012)• Trust entails the emotional relationship between people and involves how comfortable one is with influencing or being influenced by another. This includes a sense of reliability and reciprocity between people (Bothne, N., n.d.; Tanis & Postmes, 2005).• “Extreme situations caused by war and torture also call into question connections, such as kinship, friendship, and the sense of community, that link individuals to each other (Lifton 1988). Painful breaches of trust by relatives, neighbors, and friends can make it difﬁcult for survivors to trust other people and to feel secure in their company (Kuoch, Miller, and Scully 1992; van Boemel and Roze´e 1992; Blair 2001). Moreover, because some categories of professionals, such as medical doctors, teachers, psychologists, and the police, are involved in the persecution or are associated with persecuting regimes, survivors are often reluctant to trust those same types of professionals in the country of resettlement (Stover and Nightingale 1985; Millett 1994).” (Behina, 2004, 28).
Methods & Participants• 16 participants – 8 Men – 8 Women • All survivors of torture from countries in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia • 27-60 years old• Qualitative Study – Semi-structured interviews – Grounded Theory
SafetyCountry of Origin United StatesMen Men- “So first, there was Yugoslavia before the war. Our - “TASSC was the first place I talked about the rape of community (Albanian) was really persecuted by the my daughter. I never talked about the rape of my Serbian community because they had all the rights daughter in my country; I never talked about this and everything. They were all free, and to us it rape. Because in my country it is a taboo. I cannot stopped everything—the right to school, the right talk to even my brother or sister. I cannot talk to to express yourself freely, everything. So it was kind them what has happened in my house because it is of a terrible time.” a taboo…”- “…they started calling my parents house, my ex-in- - “The idea of community in itself is a beautiful laws house saying, threatening them, threatening thing, it’s a beautiful concept. But when you live in me telling me I had to leave. I felt they were a foreign country it’s completely different. You have following where ever I was trying to go so finally to go by the rules of the country you live in, but it’s because of the pressure because of my ex-wife at not the same as integrating like it’s your that time was seeking hospitality and my son was community.” going from home to home with different friends Women that were living up there, decided I had to leave.” - Interviewer: “why did you come here?”Women Response: “because the Arab people together. then- “If you beat a woman in America, the police will I don’t want to come back to Saudi Arabia because pick you up, but back at home you can be beating its not free, in the United States is good is free” your wife, she will be screaming, if somebody - “I feel secured in that community because I know comes and you tell them, ‘don’t enter my door’, he that when I trek out of the bus, if anybody wants to will go back.” attack me, before I scream ‘hey, help!’ the- “I was in STF democrat party, and when you, when policeman will be around, a person from the store they say something….the governor want to take the will be around, people in my house will hear that community ** and kill you because you are not in their mother is screaming outside and I will be the, their party.” safe.”
TrustCountry of Origin United StatesMen Men- “Being part of the community in Congo is very different - “So he is explaining that’s why he’s so connected to the from being part of the community here, because in Congo it’s usually coming from a common ethnic Kovler Center, because here they really talk about it and basis, whereas here it’s because they’re in a foreign he’s here all the time because they talk about torture country and people get together just because they’re here and every 26 of them. Every year they have not in their country.” celebration of international. Other people, they don’t- “My wife and children are part of my life. My brother know about it. They’re not interested. It’s not their too my sister too. My friends that I share my life or secrets or share them a confidence. I lived with them we problem. see each other all the time. That’s not like here. Here I - “If you are alone here it is difficult to advance because have to call to ask to see my friends, or to set up an you learn about the country through your interactions appointment. Not in Congo, if I go to someone’s house we can talk they would be there. and relationships from other people. When you’re in aWomen place where you do not live together like you do back in- “Cause our country…if you have a house, if I see you in Congo, it is hard to do that.” the street, I cannot leave you in the street if you are my Women family. You have a problem you take it to the family, I’ll share with you whatever it, is not a problem. You share - “TASSC is more trustful to me because I deal with them, together.” we discuss. I know their mind. They know mine. I tell- “Even if you go for the store to buy a food you them what I like, what I don’t like. I see their reactions. I remember that I have money where I need to put for the know what they are. But with somebody I cannot meeting Saturday. And that money where you put for discuss with, I cannot deal with, I cannot trust you the meeting, they put it together and they give for someone who needs it and asks for their help. You give because I don’t know whether you are there to kill me, to him; then next week maybe me, I’ll have to ask for or to wound me, or to do what thing with me or even to that. They put the same money, they give to you. leave my door open.” - “I no have no family really but I pick TAASK as my family,* everything TAASK, if you’re sick, if you no have…if you’re sick, I go to the TAASK. That’s the family”
Similarities• Trust and Safety are interrelated• Safety is felt in the United States because of freedom and respect for the rights of the individual• Difficulties with safety when coming to America – Communities here differ significantly from the communities in their country of origin• Vital need to move away from country of origin because safety was threatened• Struggle to form trusting relationships in the United States – Communities they live in are not likely to include people they are emotionally connected with – Miss feelings of togetherness and the sharing of resources – TASSC and the Kovler Center are strong supports where many feel they can form trusting relationships with other members and staff• Family is a place where trust is often found
DifferencesMen Women• Police decrease sense of safety • Police presence increases• Politics played a key role in perception of safety sense of safety in the – differences in political ideologies United States often led to torture in their country of origin • Sharing and togetherness in• People with differing political a community often help ideologies would not be able to form a trusting relationship cultivate a feeling of trust• When building trusting – Difficulties building trust in relationships it is important for to the United States stem from have others understand their experiences and to disagree with neighbors not forming torture entirely communities
References• Behina, B. (2004). Trust building from the perspective of survivors of war and torture. Social Service Review, 26-40.• Nilsen, P., Hudson, D. S., Kullberg, A., Timpka, T., Ekman, R., & Lindqvist, K. (2004). Making sense of safety. Injury Prevention, 10(2), 71-73.• Tanis, M., & Postmes, T. (2005). A social identity approach to trust: Interpersonal perception, group membership and trusting behaviour. European Journal of Social Psychology, 35(3), 413-424.• Tropp, L.R., Stout, A. M., Boatswain, C., Wright, S., & Pettigrew, T. F. (2006). Trust and acceptance in response to references to group membership: Minority and majority perspectives on cross-group interactions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36(3), 769-794.• World Health Organization. Safety and safety promotion: conceptual and operational aspects. Quebec: WHO, 1998:1–20.