April was Sexual Assault month, a month in which we focus on the needs of victims of sexual violence of all ages.
This blog speaks to the needs of adults who were sexually abused as children and to those that care for them within a health care setting.
An estimated 5 million adults are survivors of childhood trauma (sexual, emotional and physical), commonly referred to as developmental trauma.
Everyone has a different capacity for managing a traumatic event. Certain risk factors including neurobiology, past experiences and genetics do play a part. In many cases the effects of these adverse events in childhood can be pervasive, and if unresolved, negatively impact mental and physical health across the lifespan.
Recurrent thoughts about past trauma can trigger deterioration in a person’s mental state. The experience of deterioration in mental state itself can be traumatic, and recall past traumatic experiences.
It is critical that members of the healthcare workforce are aware of trauma-informed approaches to recognising and responding to deterioration in a person’s mental state.
Trauma-informed care is responsive to the impact of trauma, emphasising physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both service providers and survivors, and creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.
A major international study shows that when health practitioners identify and acknowledge the prior trauma of adult patients who have experienced adverse events in childhood, there is 35% reduction in visits to doctors’ surgeries, an 11% reduction in visits to emergency departments and a 3% reduction in crisis intervention.
For more information:
Blue Knot Foundation provides specialist phone counselling, support, education, resources, training, and supervision, to help adults traumatised as children recover.
Our team is available to provide confidential, caring treatment as and when you need it. To learn more about our services, visit the Albert Road Clinic website, or contact us on 03 9256 8311.