If you feel unsafe, or, threatened, please call 911.

Option, Inc.


Traumatic Triggers

Traumatic triggers come in many forms.  A trigger is a reminder of a past traumatizing event.  Many things can be a possible trigger for someone.  For example, what seems like an "ordinary " request such as, "Make sure the children are ready for school on time, "can be a trigger for a survivor whose abusive partner terrorized and punished their mate if the children were late for school.  Part of our work is in changing our frame so that we always keep in mind that survivors' responses to seemingly neutral events and interactions with people may reflect a trauma response.  Survivors may have adopted long-term patterns that reflect their effort to adapt to a traumatizing life.  We will also work to hold in mind that this behavior and these patterns reflect strategies that survivors have developed to keep themselves safe.

Can We Eliminate Triggers

Once we become aware of triggers, we might feel an impulse to "get rid of all the triggers."  Of course, we will avoid violent images or angry tones in our speech, keep video and film with aggressive content out of the common shelter areas, and try to make the environment calm.  But there will always be trauma triggers that we cannot anticipate and cannot avoid.