This project seeks to provide support to North Korean women who had experienced torture at the hands of the North Korean regime to have their voices heard and recover from their traumatic experiences through the creating and publishing of their own personal storybooks. This project will help these women mentally organize their past experiences, develop their future, and relieve themselves of the psychological challenges they face upon having such experiences of torture.
North Korean refugees with experiences of torture in North Korea are silent sufferers. Upon escaping to South Korea, they cannot receive the proper psychological help that they need due to 1) a lack of awareness of how to treat victims of torture, and 2) a lack of interest from the South Korean society. These individuals experience symptoms of PTSD such as difficulty in anger management, extreme anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and more, and need proper psychological treatment as soon as possible.
Storybooks are a way for victims to not only organize their experiences and psychological states, but it is also a way for victims to share their stories with the public. Having their voices heard is important for a number of reasons: 1) increase international understanding of the human rights abuses committed by the North Korean government 2) increase South Korean society's interest and involvement in the issues faced by North Korean refugees 3) provide psychological alleviation to victims
North Korean defectors will couple psychological therapy and the making of their own personal storybooks to acknowledge what they have been through and move on. The long-term impact of this project would be on the one hand the psychological relief of these women, and on the other hand, the publication of story books to raise awareness on torture and other human rights violations happening in the DPRK.