Operation Protective Edge Retreat

Operation Protective Edge 6

 

Protective Edge Therapeutic Retreat

Gazan Militants continue to attack Israel, shooting mortars and rockets at cities in Southern Israel – targeting homes, schools, hospitals, men, women, and children. Thousands of residents cower in shelters, praying for safety and security, without knowing what the next few moments, days, or weeks hold.

We have seen a heightened need for continued support and services by the more than 600 previously bereaved or injured families living in the South. Families relapsing in their journey of rehabilitation and reintegration – their trauma and anxiety exacerbated during intense rocket fire and emergency sirens.

Our Southern Coordinator, Pini Rabinovitz has been visiting and in touch with tens of families. Sirens ring at all times of day and night, residents live between running to shelters and waiting, alert for the sound of the siren. There are no real moments of calm to rest or relax – families must always be vigilant, otherwise the right positioned rocket can kill them and their families.

It is terrifying. This is not a new situation – and families that have been previously injured or bereaved are most fragile as the sirens ring through the heavy air of the South. No one knows what will be.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Hundreds of people have been physically injured from a direct hit of a rocket or shrapnel from an explosion. Hundreds more suffer from severe psychological injury. Recent events and ongoing rocket attacks – causes a repeated traumatic experience, deepening and intensifying the trauma itself.

Victims that suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) live a semi-functional life. The disorder impairs sleep, causes recurring nightmares, anxiety, unrest, nervousness, impatience, difficulty maintaining relationships, and difficulty working and holding down a job. The disorder has a high impact on the daily function of the victim and has critical social and familial impact.

A lynch pin in the long recovery from PTSD is a strong and supportive community – the understanding that the victim is essentially walking around and functioning with an open wound. We work together with victims to find cohesion with their families and their social surrounding to function as best possible.

The impact of PTSD is psychological and can destroy the very support the victim requires to recover.

During times of repeated trauma, such as the current rocket fire in Southern Israel – we have found that ongoing and collective support for victims of terror; as well as removing victims of terror from the traumatic environment is key to ensuring the most minimal repeated psychological damage on the victim and their family.

Protective Edge Therapeutic Retreat

Protective Edge Therapeutic Retreat would provide respite and rehabilitation to 300 families, approximately 800 people for three days. The retreat would provide an environment free of fear of rockets, mortars, and attacks on their homes and lives.

The retreat would allow the families to regain their strength and power to return to realities of life without safety and security in the South — it would provide the opportunity to have a good night sleep, a few days of relaxation, and intensive therapeutic programming to address the damage of the recurring traumas on their lives.

The programming would combine alternative therapies, traditional therapies, and activities and programs that can provide opportunities to have fun, relax, smile, and restabilize.

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