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Support for Survivors


Family and Friends

Many survivors find relationships challenging. Childhood trauma and abuse can damage relationships within families, especially if violence and abuse occurred within the family of origin. Some survivors are estranged from their families for this reason. Others grew up without removed from any family. Others were not believed or were blamed for what happened. 

Many survivors grew up without a strong bond to their caregiver/s or parents. This can make it hard to have close relationships of any sort, including friendships and intimate relationships. Childhood trauma doesn’t only affect family relationships. It can also affect those with partners and friends.  It can also affect parenting of their own children. 

Many survivors become fiercely independent, withdraw easily and avoid social contact. Others can tend to be clingy, sometimes demanding, disclose frequently, and sometimes to people who are not close or trustworthy, or become people pleasers. All of these ways of being make sense when someone experienced trauma in childhood. 

It is however possible to heal from childhood trauma, and develop mutually supportive and respectful relationships. Many survivors develop trusting connections over time.  This can start with a single relationship, sometimes with a counsellor or therapist. For others it might be with one friend who understands. This can help you develop a sense of safety in other relationships that you never thought possible. 

Relationships are very important for the process of recovery. It is important to understand why they can be challenging. The difficulties survivors have safety, trust, triggers, and strong emotions can challenge relationships.  It is important to understand them and know that they are normal biological responses to trauma. 

 It is possible to work through these issues over time, with the right support. Support from family and friends, who are emotionally available, when appropriate, can be an important part of this process.



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Health Direct


Head to Health


“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”


“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”


"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”


Contact Us

Phone: 02 8920 3611
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman AM
0425 812 197 or

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Carolyn Boyd
0425 201 096 or