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    Childhood trauma – effects, healing, and breaking the pattern of inter- generational violence

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    Event description

    Crime, domestic violence, chronic illness, self- isolation, addiction, unemployment and low self-worth are just some of the multigenerational effects of childhood trauma.

    Childhood trauma affects brain development and creates a distorted view of oneself and the world. But these impacts are reversible, as local woman Trish Johansen has discovered after almost 4 years’ studying and recovering from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    The former Queenstown veterinarian now spends much of her time running a vet clinic and the Eradicate Rabies One Village at Time charity in Cambodia.

    She gave witness testimony to the Royal Commission of Enquiry into the abuse of children in state care, as she wanted input into NZ legislation to protect vulnerable families and hoped for some personal closure.

    But instead of closure, talking about multiple, long-suppressed traumatic childhood events left her unable to function and forced her to seek professional help. “I’d always thought my childhood hadn’t really affected me, but releasing years of these traumatic memories freed me from a lifelong fight – flight state.”

    “When you grow up experiencing the world as a really dangerous place, your subconscious does everything it can to make you feel physically safer, but in ways that are opposite of what you would consciously choose. It’s not until you’ve untangled all that programming, and become self-aware, that you can create your best life .”

    Trish wants to help people become more aware of the impacts childhood abuse has on health and well-being, and understand that with support, these can be turned around. ”Breaking the pattern of generational violence is good for the individuals and families involved, but it also impacts on our economy and community through improved health and employment,” Ms. Johansen says.

    Please bring cash for your koha. This will be given to Eradicate Rabies One Village at a Time, to help save vulnerable communities, already traumatised by the Khmer Rouge, from preventable deaths.


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