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What is Trauma?

Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing event or series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. It is uniquely personal and ultimately defined by the sole experiences of the survivor. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association SAMHSA) 

Examples of Trauma 

Death of family member, loved one, or pet


Physical pain or serious injury (for example, a severe car accident)

Serious illness


Domestic abuse

Sexual assault or rape

Natural disaster


Witnessing a death



Survivors of violent crimes, or crimes committed against persons are generally considered to be the most serious of offenses.  An attack on one’s personhood is a grave injustice.  Survivors experience both physical and emotional trauma related to the event.  Traumatic events place a heavy burden on individuals and families. That aspect is further exacerbated for survivors of crime.  Those who experience trauma can and do move forward with their lives with some degree of normalcy, however, for those without a strong support system or sense of resiliency, this prospect is daunting.  Many survivors experience varying degrees of ongoing traumatic stress well after the incident. For every individual, the response is undeniably and uniquely personal.  

Recognizing that one approach to care does not fit every individual services for trauma survivors should be established on policies and procedures that address safety and provide voice to and choice for survivors as defined by the survivors themselves.  Recovery and aftercare support services to trauma survivors should be individualized, culturally responsive, and promote patient respect and dignity.

Research has shown that traumatic experiences are associated with both behavioral health and chronic physical health conditions. Substance use disorders, mental health conditions and high risk behaviors, such as self-harm and risky sexual behaviors, have been associated with traumatic life experiences.  For underserved populations and those with more severe trauma-related symptoms or mental health issues, it is extremely difficult to engage aftercare support services.   Individuals without healthcare access or support due to socioeconomic status, cultural or linguistic barriers, or even basic barriers such as transportation, often fall through the cracks.


CITRC provides a comprehensive trauma and recovery support system that is culturally responsive and actively engaged throughout the healing process to ensure maximum benefit for clients. 

In keeping with the trauma recovery center model, CITRC works to promote safety and stabilization, engagement for and with patients, help restore a sense of faith in humanity for patients throughout the program and to help build a sense of empowerment within our clients.  

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