Women and Suicide in Palestine: Victimization, Loss, Socio-Psychological Factors and Lack of Support - A Phenomenological Study

Einas Abu Safa, Sabrina Russo, Aidah Alkaissi


Background: Despite the protective factors of Islam suicide, female suicide attempts exists in Palestine.  However there is little information about the causes, risks or protective factors regarding suicide for women in Palestine. Aims: This study investigates the history and experiences of Palestinian women who have attempted suicide in order to better inform policy makers, service providers and the international community about steps need to reduce this disturbing trend. Methods: Guided interviews were completed with 20 female suicide attempt survivors in Palestine using a qualitative phenomenological method to analyze the data. Results: Five themes emerged: victimization related to violence; Loss (family members, cultural identity, relationships, and security); psychological factors ;  socio-cultural factors;  and lack of support systems. Conclusion and Recommendation: The findings of the study demonstrate the importance of understanding the experience of suicide in the female population in Palestine, looking at risks related to victimization, loss, and lack of personal control.  The findings reflect the need for a holistic national strategy for prevention including support for mental health and advocacy programs for women, demanding basic human rights, prohibiting cultural practices such as child marriage, providing economic and social support and promoting Islamic values rather than traditional customs.

Keywords: Suicide, Women’s Issues, Palestine, Victimization, Socio-cultural factors

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ISSN 2422-8419

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