Exploring Narrative Storytelling as Mental Health Support for Women Experiencing Gender-based Violence in High Prevalence Settings.

Lead Research Organisation: University College London

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Technical Summary

Our partnership brings together medical experts, poets, civil society organisations, and feminist activists working on GBV in the UK and across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia to develop a narrative storytelling approach to gender-based violence (GBV) against women in high prevalence settings. Setting that have a high prevalence of GBV (where over 50% of
women experience violence in their lifetime) are often countries or regions where GBV is publicly accepted as a normal part of women's everyday lives and condoned by state inaction. This is the case in the regions and countries included in our proposal, namely: Afghanistan, Kashmir (India), Tunisia, Kurdistan (Iraq), and Turkey. Storytelling is widely used as a means of personal expression in response to violence in these contexts, drawing on their shared socio-cultural origins as
ancient Persian societies. Our collaboration draws on this shared history and the cultural importance of storytelling to develop a culturally-relevant intervention for women experiencing gender-based violence. We do this through four main activities: (1) collaboratively designing a potential storytelling intervention based on our team's diverse expertise from the medical sciences (psychiatry, psychology) and the humanities (humanitarian ethics, gender and women's studies, literature studies, poetry); (2) tailoring and piloting the intervention with women residing in safe houses in Kurdistan (Iraq); (3) developing an online networking tool to foster collaborations related to the pilot study and build future project ideas; and (4) creating a collection of stories based on women's accounts to reach a broad national and international audience to effect social change. This is an innovative approach to creating a culturally-relevant intervention to address the mental health needs of women experiencing GBV in high prevalence settings and will ideally challenge discourses that accept violence in the lives of women as part of a broader project of social change.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description An inter-disciplinary approach to understanding and intervening on contextual factors that shape HIV-risk for young women and men in South Africa
Amount £1,723,678 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/T029803/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2020 
End 04/2023
 
Description Co-Investigator: The COURRAGE to Change: tackling women's depression and poverty through storytelling for social change in South Africa
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation University College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2019
 
Description NIHR Global Health Research Group: A package of care for the mental health of survivors of violence in South Asia (Co-Investigator)
Amount £2,460,371 (GBP)
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2022
 
Description Preventing violence against women in high-prevalence settings: A multidisciplinary approach from psychology, political science and global health
Amount £1,549,438 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/S033629/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 02/2024
 
Description COURRAGE intervention 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Ahmad is a co-investigator on the COURRAGE intervention grant (funded by UCL) to address women's depression and poverty through storytelling for social change in South Africa. She brings her knowledge of storytelling interventions from SHAER with her as part of this new colleboration.
Collaborator Contribution The collaboration is with Dr Rochelle Burgess (PI on the COURRAGE grant) who has discussed the SHAER intervention with our team members and offered constructive criticism on our draft intervention.
Impact New grant funding from UCL (included under Funding).
Start Year 2019
 
Description NIHR Global Health Research Group 
Organisation Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Dr Mannell is involved as a co-investigator on the Global Health Research Group (GHRG), funded by NIHR and is leading data collection for the Afghanistan site in collaboration with HAWCA (our partner organisation).
Collaborator Contribution All partners contribute intellectually to the project and are involved in regular monthly teleconference meetings as part of the collaboration.
Impact The group has completed an initial scoping of potential interventions to support the mental health of survivors of violence, registered three review literature review protocols, and gained ethical approval from UCL's Research and Ethics Committee and the Government of Afghanistan. Over 100 indepth interviews were collected in Afghanistan in 2018-19 across three provinces: Kandahar, Bamyan and Kabul.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NIHR Global Health Research Group 
Organisation King's College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr Mannell is involved as a co-investigator on the Global Health Research Group (GHRG), funded by NIHR and is leading data collection for the Afghanistan site in collaboration with HAWCA (our partner organisation).
Collaborator Contribution All partners contribute intellectually to the project and are involved in regular monthly teleconference meetings as part of the collaboration.
Impact The group has completed an initial scoping of potential interventions to support the mental health of survivors of violence, registered three review literature review protocols, and gained ethical approval from UCL's Research and Ethics Committee and the Government of Afghanistan. Over 100 indepth interviews were collected in Afghanistan in 2018-19 across three provinces: Kandahar, Bamyan and Kabul.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NIHR Global Health Research Group 
Organisation London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr Mannell is involved as a co-investigator on the Global Health Research Group (GHRG), funded by NIHR and is leading data collection for the Afghanistan site in collaboration with HAWCA (our partner organisation).
Collaborator Contribution All partners contribute intellectually to the project and are involved in regular monthly teleconference meetings as part of the collaboration.
Impact The group has completed an initial scoping of potential interventions to support the mental health of survivors of violence, registered three review literature review protocols, and gained ethical approval from UCL's Research and Ethics Committee and the Government of Afghanistan. Over 100 indepth interviews were collected in Afghanistan in 2018-19 across three provinces: Kandahar, Bamyan and Kabul.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NIHR Global Health Research Group 
Organisation Sangath
Country India 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Dr Mannell is involved as a co-investigator on the Global Health Research Group (GHRG), funded by NIHR and is leading data collection for the Afghanistan site in collaboration with HAWCA (our partner organisation).
Collaborator Contribution All partners contribute intellectually to the project and are involved in regular monthly teleconference meetings as part of the collaboration.
Impact The group has completed an initial scoping of potential interventions to support the mental health of survivors of violence, registered three review literature review protocols, and gained ethical approval from UCL's Research and Ethics Committee and the Government of Afghanistan. Over 100 indepth interviews were collected in Afghanistan in 2018-19 across three provinces: Kandahar, Bamyan and Kabul.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NIHR Global Health Research Group 
Organisation Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA)
Country India 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Dr Mannell is involved as a co-investigator on the Global Health Research Group (GHRG), funded by NIHR and is leading data collection for the Afghanistan site in collaboration with HAWCA (our partner organisation).
Collaborator Contribution All partners contribute intellectually to the project and are involved in regular monthly teleconference meetings as part of the collaboration.
Impact The group has completed an initial scoping of potential interventions to support the mental health of survivors of violence, registered three review literature review protocols, and gained ethical approval from UCL's Research and Ethics Committee and the Government of Afghanistan. Over 100 indepth interviews were collected in Afghanistan in 2018-19 across three provinces: Kandahar, Bamyan and Kabul.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NIHR Global Health Research Group 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr Mannell is involved as a co-investigator on the Global Health Research Group (GHRG), funded by NIHR and is leading data collection for the Afghanistan site in collaboration with HAWCA (our partner organisation).
Collaborator Contribution All partners contribute intellectually to the project and are involved in regular monthly teleconference meetings as part of the collaboration.
Impact The group has completed an initial scoping of potential interventions to support the mental health of survivors of violence, registered three review literature review protocols, and gained ethical approval from UCL's Research and Ethics Committee and the Government of Afghanistan. Over 100 indepth interviews were collected in Afghanistan in 2018-19 across three provinces: Kandahar, Bamyan and Kabul.
Start Year 2018
 
Description NIHR Global Health Research Group 
Organisation University of Colombo
Country Sri Lanka 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr Mannell is involved as a co-investigator on the Global Health Research Group (GHRG), funded by NIHR and is leading data collection for the Afghanistan site in collaboration with HAWCA (our partner organisation).
Collaborator Contribution All partners contribute intellectually to the project and are involved in regular monthly teleconference meetings as part of the collaboration.
Impact The group has completed an initial scoping of potential interventions to support the mental health of survivors of violence, registered three review literature review protocols, and gained ethical approval from UCL's Research and Ethics Committee and the Government of Afghanistan. Over 100 indepth interviews were collected in Afghanistan in 2018-19 across three provinces: Kandahar, Bamyan and Kabul.
Start Year 2018
 
Description UCL, Rhodes University (South Africa), Acibadem University (Turkey), University of Manouba (Tunisia), IUST (Kashmir) 
Organisation Acibadem University
Country Turkey 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This international network of scholars is the result of networking activities arising from the grant. Our research team has organised a preliminary meeting in-person at Acibadem University in Turkey to establish the network as a resource. Following on from this meeting, the network has help regular videoconference meetings and has been in regular monthly contact via a WhatsApp group discussion. At the midpoint in the project, another collaborative meeting was held in Cape Town, South Africa to help consolidate the network's relationships and strategic priorities.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners have contributed expertise and staff time to this collaboration. Acibadem University (Turkey) and Rhodes University (South Africa) have conducted primary data collection, including qualitative interviews with survivors of violence in Turkey and the implementation of a pilot of the SHAER intervention in South Africa.
Impact Our network has multidisciplinary expertise from the medical sciences (psychiatry, psychology) and the humanities (humanitarian ethics, gender and women's studies, literature studies, poetry). Our outputs to date include: - collaboratively developed and submitted a panel abstract (including four paper abstracts) to the 2019 Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum in Cape Town - collaboratively designing a potential storytelling intervention (SHAER) - qualitative data collection of interviews with survivor activists in Turkey - piloting of the SHAER intervention in South Africa (in progress)
Start Year 2018
 
Description UCL, Rhodes University (South Africa), Acibadem University (Turkey), University of Manouba (Tunisia), IUST (Kashmir) 
Organisation Islamic University of Science and Technology
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This international network of scholars is the result of networking activities arising from the grant. Our research team has organised a preliminary meeting in-person at Acibadem University in Turkey to establish the network as a resource. Following on from this meeting, the network has help regular videoconference meetings and has been in regular monthly contact via a WhatsApp group discussion. At the midpoint in the project, another collaborative meeting was held in Cape Town, South Africa to help consolidate the network's relationships and strategic priorities.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners have contributed expertise and staff time to this collaboration. Acibadem University (Turkey) and Rhodes University (South Africa) have conducted primary data collection, including qualitative interviews with survivors of violence in Turkey and the implementation of a pilot of the SHAER intervention in South Africa.
Impact Our network has multidisciplinary expertise from the medical sciences (psychiatry, psychology) and the humanities (humanitarian ethics, gender and women's studies, literature studies, poetry). Our outputs to date include: - collaboratively developed and submitted a panel abstract (including four paper abstracts) to the 2019 Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum in Cape Town - collaboratively designing a potential storytelling intervention (SHAER) - qualitative data collection of interviews with survivor activists in Turkey - piloting of the SHAER intervention in South Africa (in progress)
Start Year 2018
 
Description UCL, Rhodes University (South Africa), Acibadem University (Turkey), University of Manouba (Tunisia), IUST (Kashmir) 
Organisation Rhodes University
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This international network of scholars is the result of networking activities arising from the grant. Our research team has organised a preliminary meeting in-person at Acibadem University in Turkey to establish the network as a resource. Following on from this meeting, the network has help regular videoconference meetings and has been in regular monthly contact via a WhatsApp group discussion. At the midpoint in the project, another collaborative meeting was held in Cape Town, South Africa to help consolidate the network's relationships and strategic priorities.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners have contributed expertise and staff time to this collaboration. Acibadem University (Turkey) and Rhodes University (South Africa) have conducted primary data collection, including qualitative interviews with survivors of violence in Turkey and the implementation of a pilot of the SHAER intervention in South Africa.
Impact Our network has multidisciplinary expertise from the medical sciences (psychiatry, psychology) and the humanities (humanitarian ethics, gender and women's studies, literature studies, poetry). Our outputs to date include: - collaboratively developed and submitted a panel abstract (including four paper abstracts) to the 2019 Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum in Cape Town - collaboratively designing a potential storytelling intervention (SHAER) - qualitative data collection of interviews with survivor activists in Turkey - piloting of the SHAER intervention in South Africa (in progress)
Start Year 2018
 
Description UCL, Rhodes University (South Africa), Acibadem University (Turkey), University of Manouba (Tunisia), IUST (Kashmir) 
Organisation University of Manouba
Country Tunisia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This international network of scholars is the result of networking activities arising from the grant. Our research team has organised a preliminary meeting in-person at Acibadem University in Turkey to establish the network as a resource. Following on from this meeting, the network has help regular videoconference meetings and has been in regular monthly contact via a WhatsApp group discussion. At the midpoint in the project, another collaborative meeting was held in Cape Town, South Africa to help consolidate the network's relationships and strategic priorities.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners have contributed expertise and staff time to this collaboration. Acibadem University (Turkey) and Rhodes University (South Africa) have conducted primary data collection, including qualitative interviews with survivors of violence in Turkey and the implementation of a pilot of the SHAER intervention in South Africa.
Impact Our network has multidisciplinary expertise from the medical sciences (psychiatry, psychology) and the humanities (humanitarian ethics, gender and women's studies, literature studies, poetry). Our outputs to date include: - collaboratively developed and submitted a panel abstract (including four paper abstracts) to the 2019 Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum in Cape Town - collaboratively designing a potential storytelling intervention (SHAER) - qualitative data collection of interviews with survivor activists in Turkey - piloting of the SHAER intervention in South Africa (in progress)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Article for Humanitarian Practice Network about responding to trauma during conflict 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our research team wrote an online article for the Humanitarian Practice Network. The network is composed of individuals and organisations involved in humanitarian action across 130 countries worldwide. We have received several follow-up emails as a result of this article, primarily from policy-makers and academics requesting us to give public talks on the topic of violence against women in Afghanistan and/or storytelling for mental health in conflict settings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://odihpn.org/magazine/responding-to-trauma-during-conflict-a-case-study-of-gender-based-violen...
 
Description Meeting with Save the Children about potential uptake of SHAER intervention 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The SHAER team held a meeting with Save the Children UK to discuss the potential for the storytelling intervention we have developed to be used for Save the Children's activities in Iraq. Discussion focused on the potential for the SHAER team to provide training to STC staff in Iraq.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation for Arts-in-Mind Festival at King's College London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I presented our SHAER project to a group of 40+ professionals, academics, students and the general public as part of the Arts-In-Mind festival organised by King's College London (KCL). The aim of the festival was to showcase work that "improves wellbeing and to facilitate a better understanding of mental health, the brain and the mind". My participation in the festival sparked several questions from the audience about storytelling and its ability to support women's mental health, and contributed to further engagement with the Section of Women's Health Research Projects at KCL.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.kcl.ac.uk/events/event-series?id=1cbd2838-f3a7-4df5-bde1-3ebcddf2ad83
 
Description Presentation for Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) conference in Cape Town 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The SHAER project team gave a presentation about the project at the international SVRI conference in Cape Town. The event is one of the world's largest research conferences on the topic of gender-based violence. The presentation was well attended and received excellent informal feedback from audience members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description SHAER website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The purpose of the SHAER website was to develop an online networking tool to foster collaborations related to the sue of storytelling to address violence against women and its mental health consequences. We also used the website as a means of disseminating our project activities and related activities of our team members. The website has helped to disseminate the project, particularly to third sector organisations and professionals/ researchers interested in the use of storytelling as a tool for addressing violence and improving the mental health of women. We have been contacted independently as a team by several individuals and organisations who have requested more information about the intervention we have designed and (in the case of organisations) how it might help them in their future activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020,2021
URL https://www.shaerstorytelling.org