Institutions and Organizations can be negatively impacted when going through times of significant change or outside scrutiny (i.e. – downsizing, restructuring, inquiries) Individual staff members may become inadvertently traumatized as a result of this process and/or have their own trauma histories be triggered by the events if the process is not sensitively and compassionately handled.
Service providers can be traumatized after hearing the stories and witnessing the suffering of trauma survivors. This is called “vicarious trauma” or “trauma exposure response” and happens when the provider is regularly confronted with traumatic content.
Cultures can be traumatized when repeated denigration, attempts at assimilation, and genocide occur. In North America the First Nations culture has experienced significant trauma as a result of colonization. Following 9/11 the North American culture became organized around fear and terror as a direct result of the trauma experienced from this event. In addition other countries that have experienced trauma that has impacted their culture would include Sudan, Rwanda, Syria and Cambodia.
Communities can be traumatized when events affect any of its members.
Individuals of all ages, socio-economic status, cultures, religions and sexual orientations (including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and two spirit*) can be profoundly affected. [The term two-spirit is an Aboriginal term referring to those who have both male and female spirits.]
Families can be traumatized by an event happening to one or more of its members. Even people who did not directly experience the trauma can be impacted by it, especially if they have a close relationship to the trauma survivor.