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The mission of Common Threads Project is to help women heal from the enduring psychological effects of sexual and gender based violence in the context of war and displacement. In settings of mass violence where resources are overwhelmed, few programs are available to address the complex psychological needs of survivors. Long-term interventions that address the psychological consequences beyond the crisis phase are urgently needed. Common Threads Project seeks to fill this gap. The organization builds local capacity through training, launch scalable interventions, and conduct efficacy research. CTP promotes survivors’ strengths as they make their way from victims to survivors, and from survivors to agents of change.
Common Threads Project began with a pilot project for refugee women in Ecuador in 2012. Since then we have launched projects in Nepal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. We have trained 70 local clinicians to provide over 200 survivors with transformative trauma treatment. At each of our sites, research has demonstrated that the approach is effective in reducing mental health symptoms, improving functioning and subjective well-being, increasing social cohesion and self-esteem. The program provides relief from social isolation, shame, and self-blame. Participants feel a deep connection with one another, and experience solidarity as survivors of collective trauma. They report that their participation in CTP makes a significant difference in their quality of life, and in the development of agency and voice.