Trauma-informed Responses to Violence (SCWK6951)


The trauma model is increasingly recognized as a useful approach to understanding the mental health impacts of interpersonal violence. The trauma model provides a potential bridge that enables mental health and social justice perspectives to be combined in responses to interpersonal trauma. The trauma model can also move beyond the harm suffered by individuals to considerations of community and trans-generational trauma, for example, as suffered by Indigenous Australians through experiences of murder, dispossession and child removal. This UOS provides students with a framework for responding to individual and community trauma.

Further unit of study information


24 hours in block mode over 1 week


Pair presentation (25%); essay (45%) and 3 on-line reflections (30%)


Aboriginal Child Sexual Assault Taskforce. (2006). Breaking the Silence: Creating the Future, Addressing child sexual assault in Aboriginal communities in NSW. Sydney: Attorney General's Department NSW
Anda, R. F., Felitti, V. J., Bremner, J. D., Walker, J. D., Whitfield, C., Perry, B. D., . . . Giles, W. H. (2006). The enduring effects of abuse and related adverse experiences in childhood - A convergence of evidence from neurobiology and epidemiology. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 256(3), 174-186.
Atkinson, J. (2002). Trauma trails, recreating song lines: the transgenerational effects of trauma in Indigenous Australia. North Melbourne: Spinifex Press.
Becker, M. A., Noether, C. D., Larson, M. J., Gatz, M., Brown, V., Heckman, J. P., & Giard, J. (2005). Characteristics of women engaged in treatment for trauma and co-occurring disorders: Findings from a national multisite study. Journal of Community Psychology, 33(4), 429-443. doi: 10.1002/jcop.20061
Bryant-Davis, T., Chung, H., & Tillman, S. (2009). From the Margins to the Centre: Ethnic Minority Women and the Mental Health Effects of Sexual Assault. Trauma Violence & Abuse, 10(4), 330-357. doi: 10.1177/1524838009339755
Burstow, B. (2003). Toward a Radical Understanding of Trauma and Trauma Work. Violence against Women, 9(11), 1293-1317.
Carlson, B. E. (2005). The most important things learned about violence and trauma in the past 20 years. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(1), 119-126.
Cloitre, M., Stolbach, B. C., Herman, J. L., van der Kolk, B., Pynoos, R., Wang, J., & Petkova, E. (2009). A Developmental Approach to Complex PTSD: Childhood and Adult Cumulative Trauma as Predictors of Symptom Complexity. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22(5), 399-408. doi: 10.1002/jts.20444
Courtois, C. A. (2004). Complex trauma, complex reactions: Assessment and treatment. Psychotherapy, 41(4), 412-425.
Denborough, D. (Ed.). (2006). Trauma: Narrative responses to traumatic experience. Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.
Eisenbruch, M. (1991). From post-traumatic stress disorder to cultural bereavement: Diagnosis of Southeast Asian refugees. Social Science and Medicine, 33(6), 673-680.
Elder, B. (1998). Blood on the Wattle: Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australians since 1788. Frenchs Forest, NSW: New Holland.
Erikson, K. (1994). A New Species of Trouble: The Human Experience of Modern Disaster. New York: Norton.
Finkelstein, N., Rechberger, E., Russell, L. A., VanDeMark, N. R., Noether, C. D., O'Keefe, M., . . . Rael, M. (2005). Building resilience in children of mothers who have co-occurring disorders and histories of violence - Intervention model and implementation issues. Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 32(2), 141-154.
Glass, N., Perrin, N., Campbell, J. C., & Soeken, K. (2007). The protective role of tangible support on post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in urban women survivors of violence. Research in Nursing & Health, 30(5), 558-568.
Goodman, L. A., Fels Smyth, K., Borges, A. M., & Singer, R. (2009). When Crises Collide: How Intimate Partner Violence and Poverty Intersect to Shape Women's Mental Health and Coping? Trauma Violence & Abuse, 10(4), 306-329.
Harvey, M. R. (1996). An Ecological View of Psychological Trauma and Trauma Recovery. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9(1), 3-23.
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. (1997). Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families. Sydney: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
Humphreys, C., & Joseph, S. (2004). Domestic violence and the politics of trauma. Womens Studies International Forum, 27(5-6), 559-570.
Mann, S. (2006). 'How can you do this work?' Responding to questions about the experience of working with women who were subjected to child sexual abuse. In D. Denborough (Ed.), Trauma: Narrative responses to traumatic experience (pp. 1-24). Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.
Margolin, G., & Vickerman, K. A. (2007). Posttraumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents Exposed to Family Violence: I. Overview and Issues. Professional Psychology, Research and Practice, 38(6), 613-619.
Menzies, K., & McNamara, L. (2007). Towards healing: recognizing the trauma surrounding Aboriginal family violence. In B. Fawcett & F. Waugh (Eds.), Addressing Violence, Abuse and Oppression: Debates and Challenges (pp. 38-53). London: Routledge (starts pg. 314)
Mills, K. L., Teesson, M., Ross, J., & Peters, L. (2006). Trauma, PTSD, and substance use disorders: Findings from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163(4), 652-658.
Noeter, C. D., Brown, V., Finkelstein, N., Russell, L. A., VanDeMark, N. R., Morris, L. S., & Graeber, C. (2007). Promoting resiliency in children of mothers with co-occurring disorders and histories of trauma: Impact of a skills-based intervention program on child outcomes. Journal of Community Psychology, 35(7), 823-843. doi: 10.1002/jcop.20184
Ross, C. A. (2000). The Trauma Model: A solution to the problem of comorbidity in psychiatry. Richardson, Tx: Manitou Communications, Inc.
Stenius, V. M. K., & Veysey, B. M. (2005). "It's the Little Things" Women, Trauma, and Strategies for Healing. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(10), 1155-1174.
van der Kolk, B. A. (2003). The neurobiology of childhood trauma and abuse. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12(2), 293-+. doi: 10.1016/s1056-4993(03)00003-8
van der Kolk, B. A., Roth, S., Pelcovitz, D., Sunday, S., & Spinazzola, J. (2005). Disorders of extreme stress: The empirical foundation of a complex adaptation to trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 18(5), 389-399. doi: 10.1002/jts.20047
Zlotnick, C., Tam, T., & Bradley, K. (2007). Impact of adulthood trauma on homeless mothers. Community Mental Health Journal, 43(1), 13-32.

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