The summary below was contributed by Karin Wachter, one of the report’s co-authors
In October 2014, the University of Texas at Austin and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University issued their report: The Continuity of Risk: A three-city study of Congolese women-at-risk resettled in the U.S. The study was conducted to prepare for the 50,000 Congolese refugees planned to be resettled in the United States over the next several years through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
The Continuity of Risk concludes that Congolese refugee women have a sense of safety and food security in the U.S., and struggle with integration. The primary concerns expressed by the research participants include the impacts of trauma, social isolation, loss of power as mothers and precarious financial survival. The UNHCR “woman-at-risk” resettlement category is also discussed from both practice and policy perspectives.
The findings highlight women’s intersecting experiences with violence and forced migration. The recommendations section of the report, in particular, emphasizes the potential for collaboration between resettlement and domestic violence and sexual assault agencies to help meet those expressed needs. This study can help to inform those collaborative efforts already underway and spark ideas for new initiatives and partnerships.
The report can be downloaded from the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (IDVSA) website at: http://www.utexas.edu/ssw/cswr/institutes/idvsa/congolese-refugee-women-at-risk/