Selvi Izeti Çarkaxhiu

The Spark of Life Philosophy and Its Application in Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence during the war in The Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims

The Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims, is established in 1999, and, we have been working with survivors of torture and war time trauma, specificaly wartime sexual violence.

The aftermath of sexual violence can be an immensely challenging and traumatic experience for survivors. Coping with the physical, emotional, and psychological effects requires a compassionate and comprehensive approach. Participating in the Dementia Care International’s Master Leadership Program, it was an amazing opportunity for our capacity building in our organization to see the survivors through the light of The “Spark of Life’’ philosophy which provides healing of deep emotional wounds, through interactions based on a profound connection, human to human without judgment, aim to foster kindness, compassion, empathy, respect, and an attitude of unconditional love.

The Spark of Life Philosophy is based on the belief that every individual possesses an innate spark—a core essence that is resilient, valuable, and capable of healing. This philosophy emphasizes focusing on the survivor’s strengths, resilience, and personal agency, rather than viewing them solely through the lens of victimhood.

Survivors of sexual violence often experience feelings of powerlessness, self-blame, and diminished self-worth. By embracing the Spark of Life Philosophy, as therapists we help survivors reclaim their sense of power and autonomy by validating their experiences, acknowledging their resilience, and emphasizing their capacity for growth and healing.

The Spark of Life Philosophy emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment for survivors. As professionals working with survivors of sexual violence we incorporate trauma-informed practices that prioritize empathy, respect, and non-judgment. By fostering a sense of trust, survivors are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their experiences and seeking the help they need.

Selvi Izeti Çarkaxhiu supporting a survivor.

Isolation is a common experience for survivors of sexual violence. The Spark of Life Philosophy recognizes the significance of human connections and community support in the healing process. We facilitate survivor support groups, connect survivors with resources, and encourage them to engage with their communities. Through these connections, survivors can find validation, understanding, and a sense of belonging.

While The Spark of Life Philosophy was developed for supporting people with Dementia, in practice it has universal principles, that have been well integrated into our work with survivors of sexual violence. By focusing on resilience, strengths, and self-compassion, we aim to help survivors reclaim their lives and move forward on their healing journey. By integrating these principles into our therapeutic practices and support systems, we provide survivors with the tools they need to overcome the trauma and thrive in their lives beyond victimhood.

Selvi Izeti Çarkaxhiu
– Clinical psychologist and Spark of Life Master Practitioner