First, my brief description of the nature of historical trauma. You can read more here.
'Historical trauma has arisen amongst Aboriginal people as a result of the historical experiences of colonisation (and associated violence and control), forcible removal of children, and loss of culture.
The trauma and grief arising from these events were not resolved at the time, but passed down the generations so that it impacts on Aboriginal people, their families and their communities even today.
This trauma has been worsened by bureaucratic interventions that have created an increasing dependency on the state, intensifying feelings of victimisation and enforcing the beliefs of being powerless to change destructive circumstances.'
And here are a series of quotes from Judy about the impact of historical trauma, all worth reflecting upon:
“Trauma leads to fragmented and fractured identities that in turn contribute to the escalation of violence between people. The future feels meaningless, and people articulate their felt sense of powerlessness and lack of life purpose in violent acts on themselves and others. Relationships are destroyed and communities fragment. These problems cascade down the generations, growing more complex over time.”
“The psycho-social dominance, or cultural genocide, by non-Aboriginals is considered by Aboriginal people to be the greatest violence, the violence that brings the loss of spirit, the destruction of self, of the soul. Cultural or spiritual genocide occurs when oppressors believe that the oppressed are non-persons, with no culture of identity as human beings, or with a culture and identity that is inferior. They deny the oppressed the right to a separate identity as a groups or as individuals within the group.”
“By defining Aboriginal people as non-persons and to continue to do so across the colonising histories, the oppressors justified their behaviours, and in turn, the oppressed came to believe this about themselves. It was this belief that enabled author-ities to remove Aboriginal children from their families, among many dehumanising and oppressive acts.”
“The bureaucratic interventions of the state - the processes of law, social welfare, and health care - have not addressed the core issue of human traumatisation. These issues, in many cases, compounded the trauma by creating and increasing dependency on the state, which, while intensifying the feelings of victimisation, also enforces the beliefs of being powerless to change destructive circumstances.”
“Traumatisation leads to feelings of deep anger or rage. For Aboriginal people growing up in environments where there are multiple violations, this anger has no safe outlet (it can only be worked on and resolved in a safe environment) and is therefore stored in the body for expression under duress. This invariably occurs in unstructured and explosive violence (often towards people known by the perpetrator), aided by alcohol.”