What is Intergenerational/Transgenerational Trauma?

For many Stolen Generations Survivors, forced removal and institutionalisation as children created complex trauma that has impacted them personally, spiritually, emotionally, socially, and physically.

Studies have shown that psychological trauma can affect the biology of First Nations individuals and can even have biological consequences for their descendants.

Accumulating evidence now shows that the enduring effects of trauma are passed on intergenerationally through DNA.

Not only are Stolen Generations Survivors and their descendants impacted physically by the biological impacts of trauma, but spiritually by the impacts of removal from Country, kin, and culture. Both the physical and spiritual impacts of intergenerational trauma can have devastating impacts on the lives of First Nations people.

Stolen Generations Survivors were removed from all kinship and family structures, roles, and Elders who show the way. Many Survivors were never able to go back home and reconnect. This means that their children and subsequent generations are also deprived of kinship and guidance.

If healing from the trauma does not occur, it remains and is unknowingly passed on to future generations.