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Unwanted sexual contact can be a very traumatic experience. It is also a common occurrence, with many people of all genders, cultures, ages and abilities being sexually assaulted or abused by a stranger, a family member, a partner or someone they know.
Every person’s experience of sexual trauma is different. It can affect how you think, feel, behave, relate to others and see the world. But recovery is possible.
This booklet is for survivors of any type of unwanted sexual contact who want to better understand their personal reactions to the trauma they have experienced, and are looking for some ideas to assist their recovery.
Blue Knot Foundation has developed a series of 5 short videos with funding from Federal Department of Health.
Given the prevalence of trauma and its effects, it is important for people to be informed about trauma and how best to support people who may have experienced it, particularly complex trauma related to trauma and abuse in childhood.
This remarkable organisation is targeted towards clients in the US (unfortunately...), but their Resources page - and especially The Blog - features (literally!) practical strategies for self-care, tools and techniques for flashbacks and distraction (to help with intrusive trauma symptoms), 101 not-your-average-run-of-the-mill grounding strategies to try out, and much more - all tried and tested for and by trauma survivors. (You may want to check out their Facebook page - beautyafterbruises - too!)
A great resource for men, written by men, to help help you deal with issues like depression, anxiety, anger, and suicidal thoughts. Expect a witty, NO-NONSENSE approach with practical advice for men, while you navigate around Dr Mahogany's office.
This video by the Department of Health in Western Australia (in conjunction with Tim Muirhead and Danny Fordcasts) highlights the effects of intergenerational complex trauma in Aboriginal communities, and why so many people continue to struggle on their journey to health and well-being.
The survivor resources on the Saprea website provides practical support and education for survivors who want to heal from child sexual abuse. It includes suggestions to manage common symptoms such a sleep problems, flashbacks, and others; as well as researched-based, applicable, and actionable healing practices that you can do while managing a home, a job, school, or all three.
Time-limited research project that currently offers free-of-charge clinical assessment of trauma-related symptoms and depersonalisation, including a comprehensive report about your symptoms which you can share with your doctor or therapist, and an opportunity to discuss your problems and recommendations for treatment.
We know how many adult problems come down to issues from childhood - but what exactly is that wondrous, hugely desirable thing, an emotionally-healthy childhood? This video by the School of Life identifies the central themes of the sort of childhood that can leave us balanced, happy and sane.
Recovery from trauma starts with acknowledging the existence of bears. It requires the involvement of a safe tribe. It necessitates the telling of our story and the healing of our wounds. And it requires action to keep us safe from further bear attacks.
“In recovery from trauma, we’re trying to shift the default operating focus of our minds from the back brain to the front brain. The back brains operate when we’re in danger. The front brains operate when we’re safe, doing daily life. Trauma keeps us stuck in the back brain mode of danger. Recovery from trauma involves getting our front brains back online, and our bodies feeling safe. And that process doesn’t happen with next-day delivery.”
Carolyn Spring makes a compelling case for trauma treatment being a process of marginal gains, rather than One Big Event.
A powerful story describing and explaining the inner child's scream.
“There are no pat answers here. There is only an awareness of trauma where it is unresolved, every cry that has gone unheard and unresponded to, and which deserves the driver of your life to pull over onto the hard shoulder if necessary to attend to its needs. Can you do that? Can you reach down, with compassion and care, and lift your traumatised self out of its car seat, out of its lack and unlovedness and pain, and speak kindly to it, feed it, tell it that you’re here now, that everything is going to be okay? Because that perhaps, for some people, might be the first step towards healing.”
Carolyn Spring shines an illuminating torch on how traumatised children adopt to survive; why coping strategies linger long after one is ‘safe’; and explain what is needed to help us heal from those painful experiences.
Resources for the public on trauma and dissociative disorders, including FAQs for parents and for teachers; Fact Sheets for caregivers; information on how to support someone who lives with dissociative identities; and websites of interest for people with dissociative identity disorder.
Find out about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. You can find out what your ACE score is, and more importantly, what your Resilience Score is.
ACESTooHigh is a news site that reports on research about positive and adverse childhood experiences, including developments in epidemiology, neurobiology, and the biomedical and epigenetic consequences of toxic stress. We also cover how people, organizations, agencies and communities are implementing practices and policies based on the research. This includes developments in education, juvenile justice, criminal justice, public health, medicine, mental health, social services, and cities, counties and states.
This series of Fact Sheets explains more about what happens with experiences of complex trauma, the effects, the reactions people have, the way people cope and possibilities for healing. If you have experienced Complex Trauma or are supporting someone who has, we hope this series will build your understanding, add to your knowledge and support your journey.
If you experienced trauma or abuse as a child this fact sheet can help you understand more about how what happened to you might have affected you.
It provides information about some of the ways people cope, react and some options for ways to work towards recovery.
It provides hope that recovery is possible with the right support.
It is one in a series of fact sheets written specifically for survivors and supporters affected by complex trauma, including childhood trauma and abuse.
There are also other series of fact sheets which explain some of the issues raised in these fact sheets in more detail. You can find them on our website under 'Resources - Fact Sheets'
This website provides information, education, and help to those adversely affected by or interested in cultic and other high-control groups and relationships.
The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic and other high-control environments.
Their ‘How can we help you?’ page has cult-specific resources for survivors, their loved ones, and professionals; as well as a long list of pertinent ‘Cults 101’ resources.
A child-focused web page about refugees and refugee trauma. It describes core stressors, and highlights the further stressors that refugees experience with regards to resettlement, acculturation, and isolation; and lists both general and age-specific difficulties that refugee children tend to have. This website features helpful resources for screening, assessment, and intervention.
Information and resources are available for multiple audiences, including for survivors, mental health professionals, healthcare providers, school personnel, policy makers, and more. This website only captures the essence of refugee trauma, but also directs the reader to more detailed information about refugees and refugee trauma via its 'External Resources' tab.
Refer to the ASeTTS website for information on refugee services in Western Australia.
The Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS) provide services to local refugees and those who have experienced torture or trauma in their country of origin, during their flight to Australia, or while in detention. ASSeTTS has offices in North Bridge and Mirrabooka.
Anyone can be referred to ASeTTS if they are from a refugee-like background and have experienced torture or trauma, no matter how long they have been in Australia. Anyone can make a referral to ASeTTS, including service providers, medical professionals, a family member or friend of the person or the person themselves.
Use the referral form in this link to access support for someone who has survived torture and/or trauma and if they are from a refugee background; present with emotional or psychological symptoms; have torture or trauma experiences; or present with mental health issues.
A very thorough (but not exhaustive) glossary of various different types of psychotherapy. You can click on a therapy type and get the definition and/or a description; when it is used; what to expect; how it works; what to look for in a therapist who offers the therapy type; and references.
The Complex Trauma Resources website was developed for "people who don't fit into neat little boxes and everyone who cares about them", by people whose professional backgrounds in the trauma field have been informed by their own lived experiences.
The website's objective is to offer "the most comprehensive repository of information and resources on complex trauma", that is comprehensible to members of the public and professionals alike. It includes resources for young people and those who care about them; information on the effects of complex trauma on brain development; parenting after trauma; the effects of emotional abuse and neglect; racial trauma; recommended books and other resources; as well as summaries about helpful treatment interventions for children, young people, and adults; and complementary and alternative techniques and interventions often used with complex trauma clients.
Blue Knot developed this series of fact sheets to increase understanding about memory; and to tackle some of the common myths. These fact sheets are informed by the latest research, and are designed to improve understanding around memory - including the relationship between trauma and memory; body memories; delayed recall of memory; and the role of dissociation.
If you have experiences of complex trauma or if you are supporting someone who has, this section will help you to better understand why and how trauma affects people's memory.
The 'Ask Izzy' directory can help you to find local services you need, now and nearby. It is free and anonymous, and you can search over 360,000 services to find housing, meals, food vouchers, clothes, domestic and family violence help, financial assistance, legal advice, addiction treatment, finding work, supports for homeless people, and a whole lot more. If you're on the Telstra mobile network, you can access 'Ask Izzy' even if you don't have credit.
The oft-replicated Centre for Disease Control and Prevention's Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect, and its impact on later-life health and well-being.
The study proved that adverse childhood experiences have a dose-response relationship with many physical-health problems; and a strong, graded relationship to numerous health, social, and behavioural problems throughout the entire lifespan. These were not usually thought of as related to childhood abuse or neglect, and included problems such as heart disease, cancer, chronic pain, emphysema, diabetes, chronic lung disease, sexual health problems, sexually transmitted infections, depression, eating disorders, major dental problems, self-mutilation, learning disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, teenage pregnancies, homelessness, suicide, and more.
The details and results of the study can be found here (and you can find out what your ACE score is, on the Survivor page of this website).