Trauma and Black Women’s Experiences

Black women’s trauma maybe different from other ethnic groups traumatic experiences.  Of the 17,400 people who answered the ACE’s  questionnaire, most were  middle class, college educated, Whites. They responded indicating that they had experienced several ace’s prior to their 18th birthday.

However, there are situations in Black communities across the nation that are not on the questionnaire. Many African Americans have suffered depression, anxiety, or suffered through the death of a loved one by violence. Black women experience high rates of trauma and other disparities, such as gun violence, health care, foster care placement, and pregnancy-related complications. Black women’s trauma maybe different from other ethnic groups traumatic experiences.

Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience that produces psychological injury or emotional pain. Many traumatic experiences  occur during childhood. Positive and negative experiences have a tremendous impact on future violence, victimization, perpetration, and lifelong health outcomes. These early experiences are important public issues.

Here are the five types of trauma

  1. Physical
  2. Verbal
  3. Sexual
  4. Physical neglect
  5. Emotional neglect

Risky behaviors are linked to early traumatic experiences, such as chronic health conditions, low potential, and premature death in adults. Much of the research in this area is called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s). As the number of ACE’s increases, so does the risk for these outcomes.

Anyone who has experienced, or witnessed trauma, has been traumatized. Furthermore those who have read about, or heard about a tragic event in the media, has been traumatized as well.

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” Pema Chodron

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” is an old saying that we used to say. We believed it but it isn’t true. The names we’re called cut as deep as any knife. Tears flowed as a client of mine recalled the words her mother said to her as a child. If you think words can’t hurt you just think of something someone said to you during your childhood. Now notice how you feel? Notice your emotions.

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