Briefing Paper 526 – Transgenerational Trauma and Gender-Based Violence by Lois Law
The term ‘transgenerational trauma’ describes how historical trauma can affect the lives of members of families and communities across multiple generations and impact on their health, well-being, behaviour, self-esteem and genetics. These traumatic effects frustrate the healthy functioning of generations of survivors, who become similarly alienated and marginalized. The familial trauma is repeated and, often unconsciously, handed down to the next generation. While everyone is susceptible to transgenerational trauma, there are specific populations that are vulnerable due to their particular histories. This is particularly the case with gender-based violence.