Recently, there have been alarming incidents of racially motivated violence in words and deeds. Individuals from marginalised communities, particularly Black women, have been subject to unjustified aggression and trauma. The case of a Black woman being manhandled by transport police for a fare she paid is a stark reminder of our society’s urgent need for a racially aware trauma-informed approach. Working in the field of trauma, I want to share the significance of adopting such an approach to support victims of racial violence and foster a more just and equitable society because race-based trauma exists, and racism is a public health crisis.
Understanding Trauma-Informed Care
A trauma-informed approach recognises the widespread impact of trauma and acknowledges the varied responses individuals may exhibit when faced with distressing situations. In the context of racially motivated violence, this approach emphasises sensitivity towards the unique experiences of victims and aims to create a safer and supportive environment for them to heal, recover and not be re-traumatised. So, trauma-informed care goes beyond addressing the immediate incident and extends to considering historical and systemic factors contributing to racial trauma, ensuring tropes and stereotypes are avoided at the point of service, whether that is an arrest or Zen Buddhism.
Recognising Racial Awareness
Racial awareness is the conscious understanding of racial dynamics and acknowledging historical and present-day racial inequalities. Racial awareness helps society unmask implicit biases, challenge racial stereotypes, and dismantle oppressive structures perpetuating racial violence and trauma. This awareness is crucial for Black women and other marginalised individuals to validate their experiences, reduce the chances of further victimisation, and promote a sense of belonging, self-worth and wellness.
Impact of Racially Aware Trauma-Informed Approach
1. Empowerment and Healing: A racially aware trauma-informed enables victims by validating their experiences and providing them with the support they need to heal and recover from the trauma. This approach emphasises empathy and compassion, helping victims regain their sense of agency and control over their lives.
2. Breaking the Cycle: By adopting a racially aware trauma-informed approach, society can break the cycle of violence and victimisation. This approach addresses the root causes of racial violence and dismantles systemic injustices, paving the way for a safer and more equitable environment.
3. Building Trust: Victims of racial violence often feel a sense of mistrust towards institutions and authority figures. A racially aware trauma-informed approach fosters trust and credibility among these individuals, creating a space where they feel comfortable seeking help, giving help and reporting incidents of violence.
4. Promoting Social Change: Adopting a racially aware trauma-informed approach promotes a broader societal change by challenging racist ideologies and advocating for policy reforms protecting marginalised communities’ rights. It encourages dialogue, empathy, and understanding, fostering a more inclusive and harmonious society.
In the wake of disturbing incidents of racial violence, society must embrace a racially aware trauma-informed approach to support and enable victims, particularly Black women, who are disproportionately affected. By recognising the lasting impact of trauma and acknowledging racial inequalities, we can create a safer and more compassionate society that stands against racial violence and works towards genuine equality and justice for all. Only through collective efforts and a commitment to change can we ensure that such incidents of injustice are relegated to the past and that our society becomes genuinely inclusive and fair for everyone, irrespective of race or ethnicity.
As a practitioner and advocate in the field of trauma-informed care and racial awareness, I have dedicated my expertise to training and specialising in this critical area. My mission is to create safer and supportive spaces that encourage individuals affected by racial violence to heal and recover. If you are interested in learning more about trauma-informed approaches or seeking support, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or visit my website rozetwaria.com or for victim and group support, visit littlero.org.