*Trigger warning*: I cried last night for the first time in a long time.

Picture by Charlie Mackesy from his amazing book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.

*Trigger warning*: I cried last night for the first time in a long time. I was tagged in a post where a woman was bashed by her partner. The mother said police protected the man, not her daughter, who was now in hospital, since she tried to take her life.

A brave young survivor who had also experienced Domestic Violence and had been suicidal, shared a song she wrote to comfort the mother and daughter. I opened the song to read the words. They brought me to tears. The young survivor apologising to other women who experience Domestic Violence, for her silence.

“True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.” – Dr Brené Brown

This survivor said her dad once hand cuffed her, when she said she was depressed and suicidal. Here is a brave young survivor comforting a mother in distress, by sharing her lived experience and her song. I told this survivor I was proud of her. I then slept to reset my mind.

I woke up today to a piece a GP had tagged me in, written by a man, on our toxic culture of masculinity – the boys club – young males introduced to growing up. The piece was so thoughtfully written by a man to support others to break this vicious cycle.

“Every day we still collectively fail to stand up to the very public harassment and abuse that the worst among us heap on women; harassment the rest often witness but in our collective silence, fail to challenge in any effective way. Things like locker room talk, catcalling, rape jokes; the daily denigration of women that is so deeply embedded in how we’ve all been taught to perform masculinity.” – Mark Greene, Speaker, Author, Consultant, Masculinity

This man noted that the age that boys are taught not to have deep connections, by being called a “pussy”, etc, is around the same age we see such high incidences of male youth suicide. I cried for the second time. It was all too familiar.

I thought of the times I was told it’s my fault, I’m too sensitive, can’t handle a joke. Last time I was in hospital I was released for the evening. I made this beautiful dinner for some people. I had a panic attack afterwards, triggered by the joke that only women do the dishes.

I thought of the treatment of women in Australia – declining – with elderly women being the fastest growing cohort of homeless Australians. I thought of this young brave survivor last night, helping another survivor’s mother, lost in this darkness.

I thought of our treatment of First Nations Australians and refugees that came here seeking safety. Our treatment of the planet as we enter a climate crisis. A country where women and men do not even experience safety inside Parliament House.

“When the culture of any organization mandates it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than the basic human dignity of the individuals who serve that system or who are served by that system, you can be certain the shame is systemic, money is driving ethics, and accountability is all but dead.” – Dr Brené Brown

I thought of how much these issues are all connected – the belief that one group is superior to the other, and to the natural world. I am okay now. I have the most beautiful partner who treats women and every person with the respect and dignity we all deserve.

He reminded me that I get tagged in these posts because people trust me and feel safe to share their experience of injustice and trauma. I have a strong support network and trauma informed tools to survive and keep well. Yet I still cried.

Importantly, not everyone has these protectors. As I witnessed last night. A reminder from a brave young survivor who shared her lived experience and a song she wrote to comfort a mother who is terribly concerned about the safety and wellbeing of her daughter.

I am thankful to this young survivor. I am thankful to the man who wrote a powerful piece to help others to break the cycle of abuse – physical or psychological. It runs deep within our culture. Our systems urgently require trauma informed change.

“Just a few short years ago, survivor voices barely registered. Now we’re perceived as a powerful, influential force. Perpetrators and their apologists will do their worst. We’re not afraid. We just have to keep doing our best. And we will. We’ll keep sharing, listening and working with all who are willing. We’ll remain open, inclusive and hopeful. But we’ll never, ever surrender the good fight.” – Australian of the Year Grace Tame #LetHerSpeak

Now you know the power of Trauma Informed Care. Let’s turn this framework into a mindset for personal, social and political change. If you are unable to, you might need help first, to get safe or become ‘unstuck’ from trauma. Reach out for trauma informed care. #YouBelong

With Love,

Dr Louise Hansen
Psychologist
PhD in Psychology
Human Rights Activist

#HealingTrauma #Justice4Australia #WeAllBelong

Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970):

“When you’re weary
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I’ll dry them all
I’m on your side
Oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you
I’ll take your part
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.”

#YouBelong

https://youtu.be/4G-YQA_bsOU
#IncarcerationNation

https://youtu.be/XUyfAme3i_U

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
“Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of support we received overnight! We’re able to fund one more Indigenous Psychology student for a full three year Psychology degree from just a 10 minute appearance on ABC #TheDrum.” – Dr Tracy Westerman AM

If you would like to donate, please visit:

https://www.thejilyainstitute.com.au/about-us/

Trauma Informed World was inspired by Kopika and Tharnicaa; two faces that remind us everyday of Australia’s cruel refugee system. One of many systems in Australia that remind us of the negative operation of power. #HomeToBilo

Kopika (left) and Tharnicaa (right) were kept at Christmas Island Detention Centre for nearly two years despite trauma informed calls to return them to Biloela, Queensland. Tharnicaa has spent most of her life detained by the Australian Government and is still in community detention to this day. #YouBelong
Trauma Informed World respects and acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which this educational resource was inspired. I acknowledge and respect Elders past, present and emerging. I honour the continuation of educational, cultural and spiritual practices and celebrate the extraordinary diversity of people and relationships worldwide. This website contains images of deceased persons. There are also swear words in some of the songs presented that portray intense emotions. This website is not intended to trigger people who have experienced trauma. However, if you do find any of the content triggering, each page has a link to Australia’s National Helplines and Websites for immediate mental health support. These are my own personal views and comments and may not reflect the views of my employer.

Australia’s National Helplines and Websites:

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/national-help-lines-and-websites

To provide the best information possible, Beyond Blue has listed national helplines and external services. All services linked to Beyond Blue are reviewed before they are posted.

Published by Dr Louise Hansen

This is a free educational website on Trauma Informed Care for survival and wellbeing. While each injustice differs, all stories share the same trauma: the negative operation of power. Let’s break the cycle of injustice and trauma together one day at a time. The byproduct of clarity is peace. Joy is peace dancing. Trauma is disconnection. Empathy fuels connection. Knowledge is power: “Love is the absence of judgment.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama. #YouBelong

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