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The Issue

By conservative estimates, childhood trauma including abuse affects 5 million (1 in 4) Australian adults. Adults often experience social, psychological, educational, employment and relationship impairments. Survivors are more likely to enter the criminal justice system, healthcare and welfare systems, attempt or complete suicide and/or face debilitating challenges including self-harm, substance misuse etc. These impacts have not only a significant cost to the individual, but also to families, communities and government.

Many survivors experience depression, anxiety, memory loss, low self-esteem, and ongoing and long-term effects into adulthood. This can impact on their education and can lead to isolation and longer-term consequences such as homelessness, suicide, mental health issues, crime, and drug and alcohol addiction. It is a substantial public health issue with significant social impacts across welfare, justice, housing, employment and education sectors and is in urgent need of redress.

Empowering recovery from childhood trauma recognises the needs of complex trauma survivors across systems of care, and across their life cycle. It also recognises the importance of services not only for individuals but for families impacted by trauma, violence and abuse.