How to Start over: Coping Mechanisms during Individual Women Displacement by Organized Crime

Every year, thousands of innocent victims—often women—leave their communities individually and in silence to escape the direct and indirect violence that criminal organizations exert. We explore and catalog the coping strategies these victims implement during what we call individual displacement. Then, we analyze in-depth interviews with women in Mexico—a country going through a severe insecurity crisis—to illustrate how individual, familial, social, and institutional coping occurs. We conclude by discussing how making visible individual displacement and understanding coping strategies can help governmental and non-governmental organizations develop interventions aimed at helping women going through this harrowing experience.


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