March 20 marked many celebrations and events at the United Nations this year. Taking place right at the end of the 58th Commission on the Status of Women, and on the 2nd International Day of Happiness, which so happened to land on this year’s vernal equinox, the Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention (ATOP) Meaningfulworld held their annual CSW side event at the UN Church Center. This year’s symposium was titled, “Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence around the Globe.”
One in every 3 women around the world have has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, usually by a member of her own household (Domestic Violence Facts). The objectives of this symposium were: 1) to present data on the ongoing prevalence of domestic violence throughout the world, particularly as it affects the most vulnerable groups and intersects with other global conflicts and traumas; 2) identify promising new psycho-spiritual approaches to healing the trauma of domestic violence and reinforce the value of integrative methods; 3) discuss the intergenerational inheritance of unresolved trauma; and 4) provide an experiential demonstration of one such healing method.
As ATOP has initiated women’s healing and empowerment projects in over 45 countries, Dr. Ani Kalayjian, President of ATOP, opened up the event with photos and stories from all over the world. Photos in Rwanda for example, where ATOP teaches about the dangers of female genital mutilation, were shown. Rev. Dr. Victoria Jeanne Rollins, founder of the LOVE Task Force on Nonviolent Living gave a presentation on “Reclaiming Life: Love’s Transformative Power to Heal the Wounds of Trauma.” Lorne Schussel, a PhD candidate in clinical psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, discussed his research on consciousness, health, and spirituality within the framework of a post-materialist paradigm and guided the audience in his “Best Self-Visualization and Experiential Meditation Exercise.”
Symposium participants truly enjoyed this transformative event and were to participate in and share their own healing methods in an interactive session afterwards.
Katrina Martinez, ATOP Meaningfulworld Youth Representative
Social Chair, DPI/NGO Youth Reps
The Global NGO Executive Committee (GNEC) was founded in 1962 to promote a closer working relationship between the United Nations and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) associated with it. GNEC acts as a liaison between the NGO community and the UN's Department of Global Communications (UNDGC). GNEC provides strategic guidance to help NGOs become more effective partners of the UN.
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