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Racism: Emotional Abusiveness and Psychological Trauma for Ethnic Minorities

NCJ Number
Journal of Emotional Abuse Volume: 1 Issue: 2 Dated: 1998 Pages: 69-87
J V Sanchez-Hucles
Date Published
19 pages
This article advances the perspective that racism is a significant source of emotional abuse and trauma for people of color.
Although traditional conceptions of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been enlarged, this area needs to be further broadened to encompass the trauma of racism. In addition, all diagnostic categories should become more inclusive by incorporating racism as a psychosocial stressor. The article critiques racism as trauma in order to identify how this type of PTSD both fits and challenges current trauma categories, and provides case vignettes to illustrate how racism can function as a source of trauma and emotional abuse. An enhanced understanding of the effects of racism is necessary in order to prevent and mediate psychological and physical distress for ethnic minorities as well as less visible negative consequences for majority members. The inclusion of the category of racism as trauma highlights the importance of chronic, repetitive, and routine incidents as well as those that are acute or catastrophic. References