Friday, 16 July 2010

Peru: Consequences for Children of Imprisoned Mothers

The recent Peruvian film La teta asustada focused on how violence inflicted on a Peruvian woman continued to have repercussions in the next generation, on her daughter. In the real world, Peru's Centro de Atencion Psicosocial has carried out a study on the children of women imprisoned during the civil conflict, concluding that these children have suffered a negative psychological impact.

The mothers reported that their offspring had displayed various negative effects in including emotional changes (sadness, crying and depression 44%), problems at school (34%), consumption of drugs and alcohol (10%) and suicide attempts (8%).

This was a relatively small study and I don't know enough of the details to know whether these issues are more severe than those suffered by the children of women incarcerated at other periods or for other reasons. Nevertheless, it's a further reminder of the continuing legacy of a violent era in a society. Especially under Fujimori, many thousands of Peruvians were imprisoned, often with very little evidence against them and without having undergone a fair trial, so although the study cohort was fairly small, there must be a lot more people out there whose family life was disrupted in this way.

Hijos e hijas de madres detenidas durante etapa de violencia politica presentan consecuencias negativas en su salad mental

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