The life of a Human Rights Defender (HRD) at risk can be inherently stressful.

This stress may be the result of human rights violations the HRD experiences personally, threats received, risks being faced, witnessing atrocities, assisting people who are traumatised, dealing with the seemingly never-ending demands of work, and the difficulties of balancing work and relationship/family responsibilities.

HRDs have identified the management of stress as one of the factors impacting their security. HRDs who have been through periods of deep stress have explained different security-related aspects, such as:

  • becoming careless of danger
  • finding it difficult to take decisions
  • alienating sources of support through angry or moody behaviour
  • drinking more alcohol
  • feeling 'burnt out'

This new section of the Front Line website is now being developed to support HRDs who are dealing with stress.

The contents of this section of the Front Line website are not meant to replace therapy with a professional where that is available, nor meant to be used by those with severe symptoms of traumatic stress.