Trauma is a state of high arousal in which severe threat or the perception of severe threat overwhelms the capacity to cope. Trauma is very common. People experience it differently. Certain experiences are traumatic for some and not for others. The impacts of trauma depend on a person’s age/s, prior experience/s, and its extent and duration. People can experience trauma in a range of situations. These include natural disasters, accidents, betrayal in relationships, and/or being abused or victimised.
It can be hard to understand the terms used to describe trauma and abuse. It is important to understand them. That’s because understanding them can help the people experiencing them to understand themselves. It can also help the people supporting them to understand better how to help. This section explains the following terms:
· What is complex trauma?
· What is childhood trauma?
· What is child abuse?
· What is vicarious trauma?