Moral Injury - A Window into Damaging and Injurious Contexts


  • Marianela Fuertes



Moral Injury, ethic, violence, human rights


Moral Injury is a concept developing in psychology literature to review the impact of war on veterans and has especially focused on individual symptoms and finding clear diagnosis tools. This paper explores the connection between moral injury and the context in which they occur, a relationship that provides valuable understanding about the experience, but also the systemic factors that increase the vulnerability. The article begins by setting the groundwork for the discussion and introducing moral injury and its associate concepts. Part two explores the institutional dimension of moral injury and how an individual's professions can contribute to the injury. Part three proposes how moral injury insights can be implemented as guiding principles within peace and security, and particularly in peacekeeping missions. The final conclusion points to the context and the institutional system as the frame where personal reaction, values and systemic influences combine to produce moral injury. Therefore, looking for solutions to prevent and treat moral injury must acknowledge the true roots causes of distress that is not part of individualistic pathologizing mental health diagnosis.

Author Biography

Marianela Fuertes

Research Advisor, Dallaire Institute for Children Peace and Security and Human Rights Lawyer.





Research Articles