The term complex trauma generally refers to traumatic stressor events and experiences that occur repeatedly, often escalating in severity as they become more chronic over time. They are typically interpersonal in causation and commission; that is, they are caused by other people. In most cases, they are premeditated and involve violation, intrusion upon, or exploitation of individuals who are usually of lower status or power. Some involve physical violence; others do not. Tragically, when interpersonal trauma occurs between individuals who are related or known to one another and who have ongoing contact and access in a closed setting such as a family, community, religious congregation, or work setting, it is more likely to recur and may go on to become chronic. In contrast, when ...

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