Prioritise support for the abused: ASCA

Governments need to do more to support the two million Australian adults who have experienced child abuse, survivors say.

Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) says all governments should do more to help health services identify and respond to trauma, in particular the complex trauma of child abuse.

Cathy Kezelman, ASCA’s head of stakeholder relations, said health services needed the right tools to provide proper care for adults who too often suffered in silence from the trauma of their childhood abuse.

“There is a significant research base that shows the damaging effects of the often multiple, unresolved trauma of childhood experiences on the brain,” Dr
Kezelman said in a statement.

“But research also shows us that the brain has the capacity to repair itself. With the right support, adults abused as children can reclaim control of their lives
and make an important contribution to society.”

She said the annual estimated cost of child abuse and neglect among Australians had been estimated at $4 billion. She said more than two million Australian adults had experienced some form of child abuse.

Guidelines need to be developed to fill a gap in education and awareness among health professionals to help them identify and deal with the impact of childhood trauma resulting from abuse, ASCA said in the statement.