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3 trauma takes the media gets wrong

By Meera Atkinson, Adjunct Lecturer in Writing, University of Notre Dame Australia
Michael Salter, Scientia Associate Professor of Criminology, UNSW
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Originating in the medical sciences, where it referred to physical injury, the term “trauma” is now often used in popular and scholarly discussion to refer to psychological injury. While large-scale mental health surveys consistently find sexual assault is a major risk factor for traumatic illness, it’s often assumed pre-existing mental illness is the cause of the allegation itself.

Arguments around the truthfulness of assault claims can hinge on stereotypical portrayals of people living…

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