The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a discussion paper examining the growing interest in trauma-informed care and the implementation of trauma-informed approaches to support survivors of trauma, including survivors of child sexual abuse.
The discussion paper, Principles of trauma-informed approaches to child sexual abuse, was produced by Dr Antonia Quadara and Cathryn Hunter from the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Authors described trauma-informed care as emerging from the growing awareness of the impacts of trauma on victim/survivors of child sexual abuse and recognition that human-service systems needed to avoid inadvertently re-traumatising survivors of child sexual abuse.
Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the discussion paper provides an important contribution to our understanding of the key principles of trauma-informed care. These principles include:
- having a sound understanding of the prevalence and nature of trauma arising from interpersonal violence and its impacts
- ensuring practices and procedures promote the physical, psychological and emotional safety of consumers and survivors
- adopting service cultures and practices which empower consumers in their recovery by emphasising autonomy, collaboration and strength-based approaches
- recognising and being responsive to the social and cultural contexts which shape survivors’ needs and healing pathways
- recognising the importance of relationships in overcoming trauma and supporting healing.
“The discussion paper suggests that effective implementation of trauma-informed approaches will assist survivors of abuse and should help inadvertently re-traumatising them,” Mr Reed said.
Read the paper.