The experience of testifying in a war-crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone

Stepakoff, S, Reynolds, S, Charters, S and Henry, N 2015, 'The experience of testifying in a war-crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone', Peace and Conflict, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 445-464.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The experience of testifying in a war-crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone
Author(s) Stepakoff, S
Reynolds, S
Charters, S
Henry, N
Year 2015
Journal name Peace and Conflict
Volume number 21
Issue number 3
Start page 445
End page 464
Total pages 20
Publisher American Psychological Association
Abstract Psychosocial staffat a war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone conducted interviews with 147 witnesses after they completed their testimony. The interviewers asked participants to describe the most positive and most difficult aspects of their experience of testifying. Responses were recorded, coded, and examined using content analysis. Nearly all witnesses reported both empowering and difficult aspects, but the former outnumbered the latter. Witnesses mentioned 35 conceptually distinct positive aspects and 26 conceptually distinct negative aspects. The most frequently mentioned positive aspect was "being given the chance to tell my story, being able to talk about difficult/painful experiences, breaking silence." The second most frequently mentioned positive aspect was "being listened to, feeling believed/understood." The most frequently mentioned negative aspect was "emotional difficulty with some questions, talking about painful experiences." The second most frequent response was "nothing was difficult." Victim witnesses portrayed the experience more positively than nonvictims. For many witnesses, despite some challenging components, testifying provided a valued opportunity.
Subject International Law (excl. International Trade Law)
Keyword(s) crime
psychology
war
Sierra Leone
DOI - identifier 10.1037/pac0000096
Copyright notice © 2017 American Psychological Association
ISSN 1078-1919
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