Victims Voices, Silencing Terrorism: Jinan Hassan

*Disclaimer: This story contains graphic references due to the telling of victims’ experiences. Readers’ discretion is advised. 

<div style="text-align:justify">Jinan and her daughter – far left – attending a psychosocial focus group session within the UNODC programme. </div>
Jinan and her daughter – far left – attending a psychosocial focus group session within the UNODC programme. 
Jinan Hassan is a 55-year-old Iraqi woman who works in the public sector. She is also a mother of three girls. One Thursday, infamously known in Iraq as “bloody Thursday,” Jinan and her three daughters were injured in a terrorist attack, which led to deformities on their faces and eyes, and the permanent loss of her middle daughter's eye. “We experienced a psychological barrier that made us feel isolated from the rest of the world and caused us to withdraw from social interactions.” 
In 2021, Jinan participated in the psychosocial support sessions provided through the UNODC project “Supporting victims of terrorism within the criminal justice framework, including psychological support” in Iraq, which was implemented in partnership with the Lebanese Association for Victims of Terrorism (AVT-L) and was funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“In fact, both my middle daughter, the most affected, and I participated. After these sessions, I felt comfortable and the nightmare I was suffering from ended.  It was a new beginning for me and my daughter. I felt that my psychological state had changed, which was reflected in my clothing style and overall approach to life,” Jinan noted.
When asked how she sees the next chapter of her story, she affirmed that “I have greatly benefited from the victims of terrorism rehabilitation programme, and I hope that it will expand further and include more categories of people. I would like to be a trainer in this programme, training and rehabilitating victims of terrorism who have suffered from ISIS as I am fully aware of this experience.”
This story, the second in a five-part series, marks the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism which takes place on 21 August. This series is originally featured as part of the UNODC “Victims’ Voices, Silencing Terrorism” campaign, which was conducted in June 2023 through a combination of social media outreach and on-the-ground presence in Baghdad, Iraq. The campaign reached 23 million people in Iraq and the Middle East and North Africa regionand was conducted in collaboration with Iraqi authorities, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Association of Victims of Terrorism in Lebanon (AVT-L) and funded by the Netherlands. The campaign focused on providing an alternative narrative to that of terrorist groups by raising awareness of the resilience of victims of terrorism and the importance of having their voices heard.  The messages and stories they tell have the power to silence the negative and harmful fear-oriented messages spread by terrorist groups. The campaign featured several victims of terrorism supported by the project, as they used their voices to tell their own stories of resilience and overcoming and spoke of how more victims should be encouraged to do the same. The campaign also focused on highlighting the importance of understanding who is a victim of terrorism, what are victims’ needs, the role of the community, and the achievements of the project.
Click on the following links to watch videos of the campaign:
Part 1 – “We asked victims of terrorism in Iraq to tell us their story, this is what they said”
Part 2 – “Their journey of hope, victims of terrorism in Iraq”
Part 3 – “Impact driven –supporting victims of terrorism project in Iraq”
Full Documentary – “Victims' Voices, Silencing Terrorism" Campaign