The Iraq War caused significant harm for the people of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are severely traumatized from torture, kidnappings, bombings and other forms of violence. The consequences of violence affect nearly every aspect of Iraqi life, touching family members of the disappeared and traumatized as well as the victims themselves, who also suffer from mental health consequences of repression and war. Continued civil strife and the breakdown of law enforcement and administrative oversight has left institutionalized Iraqis and those in the criminal justice systems in highly vulnerable situations, as monitoring and enforcement of international and domestic laws with respect to the human rights of institutionalized persons is absent or minimal in Iraq. The war has also led to the decay of service delivery, including health care and mental health services, which are acutely needed across the country because of war-related violence. Furthermore, in the context of high levels of instability and conflict, Iraqi women and girls face increased levels of violence and discrimination, which are already a part of the cultural and institutional fabric of the country.
Heartland Alliance's Services
Heartland Alliance works to protect and provide services to vulnerable Iraqis through both direct services and training/capacity building for local agencies. Victims access direct assistance for torture treatment and medical and legal services. Trainings and capacity building help develop local organizations to provide improved services. Research and reporting on gender-based violence provide information of gender-based violence in Iraq while mediation trainings provides assistance to victims of gender-based violence.
Heartbeat Iraq: Heartland Alliance's newsletter on Iraqi programs.
Heartland Alliance works to provide services to Iraqi victims of violence and supports local organizations through the following programs:
- Gender-based violence preventionin Iraq through legal, medical and social assistance for victims as well as legal advocacy and media campaigns to reduce gender based violence;
- Training social workers and other mediation trainers to encourage the use of mediation to prevent violence against womenin Iraq, as well as a documentation project for gathering information of instances of gender-based violence;
- Training women in camps of internally displaced peopleto offer mediation services to prevent violence against women in Iraq;
- Training staff at the Trauma Rehabilitation and Training Centerin Iraq to assist victims of torture;
- Improving protections and expanding servicesfor persons institutionalized in mental health, women's shelter, and juvenile reformatories in Iraq.
- Providing primary health care servicesto vulnerable IDPs, returnees, refugees, and host communities in northern and southern Iraq;
- A psychosocial services project to train teachers in Iraqto provide trauma informed teaching methods for vulnerable children affected by the war;
- Training community-level mental health workersin Iraq;
- Regional protection for Iraqi victims of sex trafficking in the Middle East.