Potentially Morally Injurious Experiences (PMIEs) in the Humanitarian Sector: The Role of Moral Expectations

Article


Truman, J. and Berdondini, L. 2023. Potentially Morally Injurious Experiences (PMIEs) in the Humanitarian Sector: The Role of Moral Expectations. Displaced Voices: A Journal of Archives, Migration and Cultural Heritage. 3 (1), pp. 13-37. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8w705
AuthorsTruman, J. and Berdondini, L.
Abstract

There is growing evidence that Moral Injury (MI), which is commonly understood to be the result of failing to prevent, witnessing, or participating in an event which transgresses peoples’ moral beliefs, may affect those working in inherently stressful contexts, such as the humanitarian field. Humanitarian work frequently involves challenges of an ethically or morally distressing nature. Research which aimed to determine whether unpaid humanitarian aid workers supporting displaced people in Calais and Dunkirk, Northern France, were exposed to Potentially Morally Injurious Experiences (PMIEs), is presented. Thematic Analysis (TA) was used to examine the narratives of 7 participants who discussed experiences that transgressed their moral beliefs while volunteering, as well as the emotional effects of those experiences. The data suggested that the participants may have been exposed to PMIEs. This finding has important implications for the mental health and psychosocial support needs of both paid and unpaid humanitarian aid workers, and could inform interventions by international and national Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in similar, contexts. The data was re-examined with a focus on feelings of guilt and shame and questions of identity and morality, sometimes called existential crises, which are understood to adversely affect mental health wellbeing.

JournalDisplaced Voices: A Journal of Archives, Migration and Cultural Heritage
Journal citation3 (1), pp. 13-37
ISSN2633-2396
Year2023
PublisherLiving Refugee Archive, University of East London
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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8w705
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Online2023
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Deposited21 Aug 2023
Copyright holder© 2023, The Authors
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