Self-care for gender-based violence researchers – Beyond bubble baths and chocolate pralines

Saturday 20 May 2023

Schulz, Philipp, Kreft, Anne-Kathrin, Touquet, Heleen, and Martin, Sarah. 2022. In Qualitative Research: 1-20

In this article, the authors evoke that self-care and compassion are crucial yet overlooked aspects of Gender-Based-Violence (GBV) research practice. First and foremost, they call for institutional change to enhance structures around mental well-being for field researchers. The overarching point is that GBV studies take an emotional toll on the conductors. In their words, the ‘costs of caring’ are often failed to be taken seriously, leaving manifold consequences for the individual researchers. They hint that reasons for this range from ideas about research as neutral to a lack of institutional well-being-support for researchers. Moreover, they assert that self-care is not supposed to be an individualised burden. Instead, it is a communal practice wherein researchers benefit from specifically sharing their lived experiences of conducting GBV research. Drawing on their respective fieldwork, they advocate that it is essential to consider the manifold sides of self-care and the barriers to self-care practices. They echo feminist thinking when taking the racial, gendered, and socioeconomic circumstances into consideration as potential barriers to practicing self-care as a GBV researcher and practician. I include this article in the library because it is important for anyone who studies conflict and peacebuilding. Furthermore, it turns our attention to the interplay between peace(building), self-care, and communal compassion. Rephrased, the connection between internal and external peace. 

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