Zamperini, A., Bettini, M. Spagna, F., & Menegatto, M.
Mothers and children of violence: Memorialization, reconciliation, and victims in post-genocide Rwanda
Rape is a common occurrence during the genocide and the presence of children born as a result of rape constitutes a challenge to post-genocide individual recovery and social reconciliation processes. This article deals with mothers and their adolescent children born as a result of a rape during the genocide in Rwanda. Qualitative analysis of individual interviews has provided a means to explore in-depth perceptions and emotions of mothers when faced with disclosing paternity and to investigate the reactions of adolescents. Social stigma related to rape and children born of rape created suffering and distress, as did the lack of economics and psychosocial resources for the women and the adolescents. These family problems are discussed in relation to the policies of reconciliation and forgiveness that characterize the post-genocide Rwanda, with particular attention to the conflict between collective memory and individual memory.Back