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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

The Importance of Understanding Trauma-Informed Care and Self-Care for Victim Service Providers

General Material
Published Date
July, 2014

This document provides recommendations on recognizing and understanding the impact of trauma on survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Trauma-informed care emphasizes creating services and programs that are sensitive and directly responsive to the trauma that many survivors experience after a violent crime, which can have a severe impact on a survivor’s emotional, spiritual, and psychological well-being. Furthermore, it acknowledges that “far too many survivors are harmed or retraumatized by insensitive, uninformed, or inadequate community and criminal justice responses."

"Understanding trauma can be complicated.  For victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, trauma can stem from an isolated incident, from repeated incidents over a lifetime, or from a pattern of ongoing violence.  And, this violence and trauma can be compounded by multi-generational and/or historical trauma. Exposure to 'cumulative emotional and psychological wounding over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma experiences' such as colonization, war, or genocide, can magnify an already devastating crime. It is important for service providers to remember that because of historical trauma, many survivors of violent crime, such as those from African American, immigrant and American Indian/Alaska Native communities, are forced to confront multiple layers of traumatic experiences as they recover and heal.”