Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The reliance on private rather than collective coping strategies 4/9

The reliance on private rather than collective coping strategies Defenders in our study tended to rely on private coping strategies rather than on organisational support for their wellbeing. They shared how they gained strength from their spirituality, from being with their family and friends, and from engaging in hobbies. However, they also sometimes felt lost and alone in their struggles.

We also do not get support from our colleagues when we face problems. They make the problem as a ‘simple matter’. For example, when my friend received a letter from the police that he was to be interrogated, other friends made it as a joke, such as, “be relaxed, we will accompany you. We will bring you food everyday if you are arrested.” We laugh together. Based on my experience, I believe, they also felt worried. It seems as if we do not received moral support.

 Anti-corruption defender, Indonesia

Relatively few human rights NGOs embed wellbeing practices into their work, such as through providing supervision for case work; providing counselling; holding retreats; emphasizing work-life balance; and providing insurance and pensions.

 This Policy Brief is based on research findings from the project ‘Navigating Risk, Managing Security, and Receiving Support’ which examines the experiences of human rights defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and Indonesia. Interviews and surveys were conducted with over 400 defenders between July 2015 and November 2016.

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