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The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships For Mental Health Journalism 2009-2010

Georgiana Ilie

Freelance Journalist
Bucharest, Romania

Topic: Reveal the mental health problems associated with family loss as a result of a lack of support systems for affected families.

Published Work:

Can Women That Have Escaped Domestic Violence Ever Regain a Normal Life?
The roots of violence are socially accepted in religion, tradition, and culture of the Balkan countries. Domestic violence is common in the Balkans and in Romania, where 28 per cent of women between 18 and 49 are believed to have suffered domestic violence.

New Depth and Vision Gained in Vienna
Now I am doing the same for this story. While in Vienna for reporting, I spent two days in the beautiful library of the ERSTE Stiftung, reading studies about domestic violence, gender roles, feminism, patriarchy, and even about Communism and how the egalitarian view of the system helped or harmed the women's cause. One of the most disturbing readings was about the social script of rape, which makes women think they cannot protect themselves from harm and therefore encourages them to submit to violence.

Battered Wives Shunned in the Balkans
Women who evict violent husbands from the family home often face disapproval, even outright hostility, from neighbours and relatives in the patriarchal societies in which they live. When 'Marta' applied for a court order to evict her former husband from their home, she was not afraid of the reaction of friends and neighbours in the town of Târgu-Mures, central Romania.

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