Civilians are increasingly targeted in today's wars. To reduce military casualties, civilians are used as protective shields; to facilitate guerrilla warfare, they are abducted or enslaved; torture, rape, and executions are carried out to undermine morale and to eradicate the cultural links and self-esteem of the population. Most civilians in zones of conflict witness war-related traumatic events such as shootings, killings, rape, and loss of family members. The extent of psychosocial problems that results from this mass exposure to traumatic events may ultimately threaten the prospects for long-term stability in society
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