What We’re Reading – Vicarious Trauma on Bellingcat

Secondary trauma is a serious problem for remote analysts, but also for humanitarian workers who connect closely with people affected by conflict.

This week, LLST is reading Hannah Ellis for Bellingcat: a quick, accessible survey of secondary trauma among remote analysts observing raw footage of violent or graphic events. The piece is produced for analysts who work with online sources for Bellingcat (or on studies with similar methodology).

Secondary trauma can arise from original or secondary-source research for simulation production; it can also be common among humanitarian workers who engage closely with conflict-affected people.

One result of secondary trauma not discussed in the piece is the abstraction or dehumanization of victims as a coping strategy. Mental health and coping strategies among humanitarian workers dealing with secondary trauma certainly contributes to the breakdown of information of between server and served in the humanitarian context.


How to Prevent, Identify and Address Vicarious Trauma — While Conducting Open Source Investigations in the Middle East

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