Understanding How Solidarity Groups—A Community-Based Economic and Psychosocial Support Intervention—Can Affect Mental Health for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Erica Koegler, Caitlin Kennedy, Janvier Mrindi, Richard Bachunguye, Peter Winch, Paul Ramazani, Maphie Tosha Makambo, Nancy Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Solidarity groups were established in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to provide female survivors of conflict-related sexual violence an opportunity to generate income, establish networks of support, and cope with atrocities. Qualitative data were collected from 12 members of solidarity groups to explore factors that contributed to members’ mental health. All women identified some improvement (physiological, psychological, economic, or social) since joining the solidarity group, but none of the women were free from ailments. Our findings suggest that a multifaceted intervention in women’s own communities has the potential to improve multiple aspects of women’s lives, including mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-374
Number of pages16
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019



  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • community-based
  • conflict
  • intervention
  • sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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