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Gender Violence: Trauma 101 & Self-care

Trauma 101 & Self-care

The Impact of Trauma

Over the years, we have learned more and more about how traumatic events impacts survivors, both during the violence itself and in the aftermath. For a long time, we believed that the effects were primarily psychological, which they are, but there’s more to it than that. Now we know that trauma impacts the brain in biochemical and structural ways, depending on when the violence occurs in the lifespan, whether it is repeated, and how severe it is.

The neurobiology of trauma is a whole science unto itself, and our increasing understanding of this issue has influenced every aspect of how victim advocates, criminal justice professionals, therapists, college administrators, and legislators address these issues.

Understanding how this works can be helpful for survivors and their friends and family as well. Survivors and those who support them can benefit from this context for how and why they responded as they did both during the violence and as they cope with the impact longer term. In this short YouTube video, Dr. Jim Hopper, an international expert on the neurobiology of trauma, offers insights into how trauma causes involuntary responses and how it impacts memory and/or the decisions that survivors make following an assault.