Social consequences of experiencing trauma

In my last blog I looked at the physical aspects of trauma and the possible impacts it can have on our bodies – but what do you think happens around us?

The Community Resilience Cookbook states that people with an ACE’s score of 4 or more, are ten times more likely to experience social problems such as drug and alcohol dependency or abuse. They have a higher rate of prescription use as well as intravenous drug use. This type of behaviour can be linked back to health problems associated with the liver.

They report having more relationship issues and broken marriages than people who haven’t experienced childhood trauma. Research from the ACE’s study has indicated that a commonality from those who experienced childhood trauma had come from single parent families. Can you see from this how the cycle of abuse can be perpetuated?

Eighty seven per cent of people have reported being exposed to more than one form of abuse in their life. Due to the anxiety and depression which often goes un-diagnosed or treated, they have far more work absences and are seen to have a poorer work ethic than others. This results in an inability to hold and maintain employment and as a result leads to higher unemployment rates and a lower socio-economic environment, which has also been identified as a possible indicator or contributing factor of trauma and abuse in childhood.


With the higher percentage of drug and alcohol abuse and lower levels of unemployment leads to a higher dependency on welfare payments. The higher levels of unemployment rates means that people are unable to afford to purchase their own homes, therefore putting more strain on affordable housing and increases the number of people applying for public housing. This creates longer wait lists and time frames before people can receive a home under the social housing scheme. We have seen in many suburbs, where there is high employment in a social housing estate, that drug and alcohol abuse is high and so is the crime rate. When you put people together who have too much time and too little money and who are dealing with life by self medicating, that this leads to societal problems such as a rise in criminal activities as they attempt to survive.

Take your time to think about this scenario? Do you think that this contributes to the next generation of children who experience trauma in their lives? Can you understand now how the cycle of abuse can create inter-generational unemployment, inter-generational drug and alcohol abuse, a lack of positive role models and how when this is how you live and your family has always lived that there is no hope for the future? There is no dream for a better life as this is all you know and all you know how to do. Do you think it’s easy for them to just get out and get a job? I have just skimmed the surface with possible social impacts, can you think of more?

I wish the Politicians would become trauma informed and start putting money in to therapeutic services to address this serious problem in society and see that it isn’t just a matter of being lazy or choosing not to work – for some the roots are far greater than that.

If you are as passionate as me about this societal issue and the social justice inequalities it causes, help spread the word and make trauma informed approaches the way of the future.

Thanks for reading

6 thoughts on “Social consequences of experiencing trauma

  1. Hi Mel,
    Your blog was very interesting! The cycles of poverty and homelessness have been well documented and your blog encapsulates the link of these social inequalities to the trauma of family violence.

    A report by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research highlights similar links that you have eluded to. A finding I that surprised me was that children who experience homelessness as a child (and as you indicated can be from family and domestic violence) are less likely to find stable employment as an adult. For males who experienced homelessness as a child, they have a higher risk of unemployment and/or incarceration. For women who experience childhood homelessness, there is higher risk of lower education and higher dependence of welfare payments.

    I agree with your thoughts of this cycle. The traumas experienced certainly make it difficult for children to exit this cycle without suitable mentoring and support.

    Thanks for a great read!

  2. Wow! This is a really informative blog. You have done a lot of research into this topic. You have examined the domino effect of events and how it affects the wider society. I agree with a greater focus being on trauma informed care. Have you looked at the free online trauma informed care course you can do? I think this is an under utilised resource. Perhapes you can look at, in greater detail how this practice will be beneficial to society.
    Good job 🙂

    • I’m not sure what free training you’re referring to but if it’s the trauma training run by the Australian Childhood Foundation – yes I have completed that and have linked the website to my blog. Thanks heaps for your feedback tb224

  3. I really enjoyed your blog, your posts are thoroughly researched, informative and cover many important aspects regarding the issue Domestic Violence.
    I particularly liked the point you made about the consequences for broader society, as the impacts of domestic violence are felt by society as well as the individual.
    For example on an economic level the impact of domestic violence is quite extravagant. A report released by the Department of Social Services titled “The Costs of Violence Against Women and their Children” estimates that without appropriate action the cost to the economy will be approx. $15.6 billion in 2021-2022.
    Great work, look forward to reading more.


    DSS Report

  4. Hi Melissa,

    I enjoyed reading your post on the social consequences of trauma. Childhood trauma is a very complicated and complex issue, which you have managed to break down and explain in a way that is easily understood. Homelessness which is the focus of my blog is also a complex issue which has a variety of causes.
    During my research, I came across an article by Scutella et al (2013) that you might find interesting and useful. Principally, this article looked at factors that contribute to the length of time someone remains homeless and the number of times they are homeless in a lifetime. They found that childhood violence and sexual abuse were key indicators for homelessness duration. They additionally go on to recommend that Trauma-Informed Care should be implemented into homelessness services. Hopefully, this has highlighted another facet of childhood trauma research that will aid you in your research.

    Reference list.
    Scutella, R, Johnson, G, Moschion, J, Yi.-Ping, T, & Wooden, M 2013, ‘Understanding lifetime homeless duration: investigating wave 1 findings from the Journeys Home project’, Australian Journal of Social Issues (Australian Social Policy Association), vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 83-110.

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