Exploring the link between trauma and truth in post conflict societies: comparing post conflict Northern Ireland and post apartheid South Africa

Abstract: While much has been written in academia about trauma and truth as singular subjects in post conflict societies, there is a lack of research that investigates the relationship between these foci. This project investigated this underexplored link and uncovered themes that emerged through a rigorous literature review of existing research coupled with semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted with professionals working in the fields of trauma and truth across Northern Ireland and South Africa. Two important thematic findings were revealed, which include the necessity of expanding the discussion of experiences with trauma in post conflict societies and how the ways in which truth is experienced by, or presented to, an individual may impact how one recovers from trauma. Both themes suggest important considerations that should be recognised in future discussions on the extent to which truth may dissipate trauma in societies attempting to move forward in the aftermath of violent conflict.

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Hass, Kjelsie L.