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Acknowledging the complexities of sexual victimisation trauma Liz Wall and Antonia Quadara

By: Wall, Liz.
Contributor(s): Quadara, Antonia.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleSeries: ACSSA issues.Publisher: Melbourne, Vic.: Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014Description: 20 p.; 30 cm; electronic document (23 p.); PDF file: 705.59 KB; HTML.ISSN: 1833-7864 (online).Subject(s): ADULT SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE | INTERVENTION | POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER | MENTAL HEALTH | SEXUAL ABUSE | SOCIAL SERVICES | SUBSTANCE ABUSE | TRAUMA | VICTIMS | AUSTRALIA | CHILD SEXUAL ABUSEOnline resources: Click here to access online | Read in HTML In: ACSSA Issues, 2014, no.16Summary: Key messages ■The mental health impacts of sexual victimisation are frequently acknowledged but there are specific and additional impacts where victims have suffered a particular type of abuse that is: interpersonal, commences at an age where emotional development is affected, is ongoing, chronic or features multiple types of abuse. ■Many researchers and practitioners in the fields of psychiatry, psychology and social work do not see the mental health diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as sufficient to capture these specific effects of multiple types of abuse and chronic victimisation. There have been calls for an additional category called "complex PTSD" or "complex trauma". ■The impacts of complex trauma symptomatology on victim/survivors can be a driver of need for many human services, including mental health, medical and substance abuse services as well as social services like housing and relationship services. ■Acknowledging an underlying basis of trauma could enhance service delivery to the victim/survivor that may have multiple needs across services. ■It is important to acknowledge the link between ongoing sexual victimisation and complex trauma in order to facilitate a cultural shift towards the connectedness of services and a person-centred approach to service use. (from the publication)
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ACSSA Issues, 2014, no.16

Key messages
■The mental health impacts of sexual victimisation are frequently acknowledged but there are specific and additional impacts where victims have suffered a particular type of abuse that is: interpersonal, commences at an age where emotional development is affected, is ongoing, chronic or features multiple types of abuse.
■Many researchers and practitioners in the fields of psychiatry, psychology and social work do not see the mental health diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as sufficient to capture these specific effects of multiple types of abuse and chronic victimisation. There have been calls for an additional category called "complex PTSD" or "complex trauma".
■The impacts of complex trauma symptomatology on victim/survivors can be a driver of need for many human services, including mental health, medical and substance abuse services as well as social services like housing and relationship services.
■Acknowledging an underlying basis of trauma could enhance service delivery to the victim/survivor that may have multiple needs across services.
■It is important to acknowledge the link between ongoing sexual victimisation and complex trauma in order to facilitate a cultural shift towards the connectedness of services and a person-centred approach to service use. (from the publication)