Many people flee their countries of origin after suffering severe trauma (torture, war, mass violence). There is a need to explore post-migration socio-cultural factors that prevent trauma healing. Refugees who have been through a trauma are in a unique position to interpret events happening in their country of origin with the risk, however, of being retraumatized. This study explores how Congolese refugee men living in in the UK interpret and make meaning of violence against women in their country of origin. The qualitative method Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used. Four Congolese refugees were interviewed following a semi-structured guide and the resulting transcripts were analysed according to IPA principles. Four key themes emerged from the data that were labelled as: war and violence, the role of women, violence against women, and education. Participants described violence against women in Congo as a collective retraumatisation originated from an ineffective solution of the war and from a lack of education of local population. Evaluating the effect of mass trauma, it is warranted to explore how refugees interpret violence happening in their countries as a possible source for retraumatisation.
Keywords: Refugees, trauma, violence against women, interpretative phenomenological analysis