Recent European history has left a traumatic legacy of vast communities affected by prolonged periods of violence and thousands of victims and survivors who, despite the current absence of violence, have to deal with the rise of severely polarised societies. In addition, victims feel isolated and abandoned after a long period of violence as an added factor to their primary victimisation. They are a permanent reminder of the violence and the terror and are therefore excluded from the community and stranded in no man’s land.
Nevertheless, victims and victims’ groups can play a relevant role in promoting social cohesion and strengthening the community’s resilience to violent extremism, shifting their role from silent violence recipients to peace builders and agents of change within their own communities, becoming owners of this process.
Victims involved in strengthening social cohesion can even collaborate to enhance their own resilience and healing processes, to bridge divisions and to bond the communities themselves as well as with the victims. Read more