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Blue Knot Day confronts Australia’s complex trauma crisis


Blue Knot Day on 26 October spotlights the over 5 million Australian adults affected by complex trauma from abuse, violence and exploitation.

President of the Blue Knot Foundation President Dr Cathy Kezelman says increased recognition and transformative support is needed.

“Exploring the nuances of complex trauma, and acknowledging its prevalence and impacts are vital steps towards building trauma-informed communities, paving the way for crucial reforms within our homes, communities and institutions,” Dr Kezelman stated.

Blue Knot Day serves as a rallying point for Australians to unite in support for the many people burdened by the silent, insidious weight of complex trauma, an issue which has silently afflicted our nation for far too long.

Related: Understanding Complex Trauma: A Path to Healing and Recovery

The Australian Child Maltreatment Study, involving 8,503 randomly selected Australians aged 16-65, revealed shocking statistics: 62% of Australians over 16 years old reported having experienced maltreatment during their childhood, and more than half experienced more than one type of maltreatment.

“The consequences of childhood maltreatment are not just profound; they’re often catastrophic. These report findings are not just statistics; they are an urgent and compelling wakeup call for comprehensive trauma-informed support, and a fundamental overhaul in how survivors can and do access assistance from our services and systems,” said Dr Kezelman.

While child maltreatment is a significant contributor, it is only part of the broader picture of complex trauma. Complex trauma entails the long-lasting effects of repeated, ongoing, and often extreme interpersonal trauma, characterised by violence, abuse, neglect, or exploitation, spanning from childhood to adolescence, and into adulthood.

Blue Knot Day fosters critical conversations about complex trauma and Dr Kezelman encourages Australians to share well-being strategies and support those affected using #BlueKnotDay.

Wearing Blue Knots symbolises untangling trauma’s knot by building a trauma-informed society. Handcrafted knots can be created or purchased on the Foundation’s website to demonstrate commitment.

“Together, we can listen, learn, and foster a more compassionate, empathetic society – essential for survivors to access life-affirming trauma-informed support,” Dr Kezelman said.

To learn more about complex trauma, click here.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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