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Personal profile

Research Interests

Survivors of conflict and post-conflict sexual and gender-based violence and torture in Africa and the UK: Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Biography

Helen has been carrying out applied research with survivors of conflict and post-conflict sexual violence and torture in Africa since 1998. Helen has numerous journal publications including two books: ‘Ugandan Women War Survivors’ (Liebling-Kalifani, 2009) and ‘Justice and Health Provision for Survivors of Sexual Violence’ (Liebling and Baker, 2010). Helen’s research includes several innovations in theory including a re-conceptualisation of trauma, integrated justice and health approaches, and a holistic approach for service provision for conflict-affected survivors, the arguments for entitlement to health care being a human rights issue and policies for war survivors as well as governance and sexual violence. Helen has carried out consultancies, training and interventions in Africa to enhance support for conflict survivors and service providers in conjunction with Isis-WICCE, Uganda. Consequently Helen has had her policy recommendations adopted by the pre-consultative meeting in gender mainstreaming in the African Union and the executive summary and published book were presented to the President of Uganda who stated he would act on their recommendations. Furthermore, the South African Correctional Department recommended implementation of Helen’s research and policy recommendations to inform services for conflict survivors at trauma centres opened in Gulu and Kitgum, northern Uganda.

Area of Expertise:

Applied research with survivors of conflict and post-conflict sexual violence and torture in Africa since 1998. Helen has carried out consultancies, training and interventions to enhance support for conflict survivors and service providers. Helen has also carried out research with survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and torture including refugees and asylum seekers in the United Kingdom.

Vision Statement

My concern is to capture the voices and lived experiences of African women, men and children regarding their experiences and the gendered effects of conflict and post-conflict sexual and gender-based sexual violence and torture. I am inspired by the resilience and strength that survivors demonstrate in the midst of such adversities. How do survivors understand the effects of their experiences? To whom do they look for health and justice service responses and support? What assists their recovery? I found that Africans have their own culturally sensitive ways of understanding the collective impact of their experiences. My research also revealed that sexual violence and torture has had a devastating impact on the physical, reproductive and mental health and rights of African people and there is a lack of effective health and justice services to respond. The premise of my research is that only by understanding how African survivors themselves understand the effects of their experiences and their needs, as well as the health and justice providers views of current service provision, will governments, policy makers and donors be in a position to determine how best services should be delivered in order to meet these outstanding needs and ensure fairness, effectiveness, equity and sustainability.

External positions

External Examiner, Trinity College Dublin

30 Sep 201630 Sep 2020

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Research Output

Open Access
File
  • 10 Downloads (Pure)

    Persistence and Resistance of Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs) Perpetuated against Girls in Africa and Asia.

    Glover, J., Liebling, H., Goodman, S. & Barrett, H., 28 Feb 2018, In : Journal of International Women's Studies. 19, 2, p. 44-64 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • Personal Reflections on working with Survivors of Sexual and Gender-based Violence and Torture in Uganda

    Liebling, H., 16 Sep 2018, In/visible Traumas: Healing, Loving, Writing. Pujolràs-Noguer, E. & Hand, F. (eds.). Barcelona: Femrite Publications, p. 20-30 10 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Service Responses for Survivors of Conflict and Post-Conflict Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Torture in the Great Lakes Region: Global Health and Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives

    Liebling, H., 13 Mar 2018, Global Health and Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives. O'Manique, C. & Fourie, P. (eds.). Routledge, p. 28-44 17 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Enhancing Learning from Lived Experiences Buddy System

    Marczak, M., Liebling, H., Kucharska, J., Knight, E. & Gordon, C., 5 Jul 2017, p. 61-62. 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  • Activities

    • 13 Participation in conference
    • 1 Publication peer-review
    • 1 Invited talk
    • 1 Oral presentation

    International Conference Law , Culture and Human Rights in Asia and the Middle East

    Helen Liebling (Speaker), Hazel Barrett (Speaker)
    14 Feb 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    Africa Matters

    Helen Liebling (Speaker)
    Feb 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    In/visible Traumas: Healing, Loving, Writing (Journal)

    Helen Liebling (Associate Editor)
    16 Sep 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

    Africa Forum

    Helen Liebling (Speaker)
    Nov 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference