The Aftershock Awareness Project – A trauma victim support service!
The Aftershock Project was written and founded by Dave J. Lomas on the 1st of October 2012 and is aimed at being an information based service for people in the martial arts industry, in the main, and also a supportive service for trauma victims and their families. The Aftershock Awareness Project was highlighted and featured in several martial arts magazines and newspapers during the initial start up period.
The following are short extracts from the Aftershock Awareness Project.
Aftershock is not only a devastating condition that a trauma victim will go through but also for the people who are close to the victim in a personal way like a parent, partner or close family member. Called ‘Secondary Aftershock’ the person who is told by a loved one, or close family member, the intimate details of a violent attack or rape will in most cases form their own picture of events in their mind, and in turn, will live those memories many times over and become a sufferer of ‘Secondary Aftershock’ themselves for a very long time to come. Therefore it is often wise to seek help yourself if you find this becomes a long term problem.
RAPE IS NOT ABOUT SEX
Rape is not about sex – it’s about violence. Many victims of rape, unlike straight-forward crime based violence, suffer additionally because they want to know why they were selected. The reason for this in the main is that they feel they were the cause of the appalling events in the first place, for various reasons, however rape is not about sex it’s about a violent act of control by those who have a need to control an easy target and it is not the victim’s fault. It is also worth noting that rape is not gender specific. Violent and sexual abuse against men and boys is often overlooked for various reasons and also it is more widespread than many people realise.
Every single day thousands upon thousands of people are getting killed in war zones around the world. Most of them do not even know why the fighting started or why the killing goes on. But it does. If more people found it possible to trust each other and if more people would stop killing others due to a conflict of ideas, beliefs and faiths then maybe we would not need to spend all our time in making it worse by learning how to kill. But we are ‘human’ and as such it will never end.
Maybe if more time was given in thought to those victims of violence and not thinking up new ways of killing someone then maybe we would not need an unsung army of carers, support workers and trauma nurses to pick up the pieces all day long.
SAD BUT TRUE
It may come as a bit of a shock to you but not all martial art experts win a street fight. In fact some end up in hospital despite their best efforts to survive a street attack. So before you carry on promoting your events or shouting about how great the martial arts are – just take a moment to think about those who have been traumatised by a good beating. Although their near fatal wounds may heal in time, their memories of such a devastating event are still on automatic playback in their minds every single day.
Maybe they were never trained in the martial arts, maybe it’s just a regular guy in the street – but in any event they are all still a victim of a condition called ‘Aftershock’.
Maybe such a subject is of no interest to you whatsoever – but what if it was your wife, parent or family member that was going through such a traumatic ordeal?
Being enlightened or a master of Zen is of no true value whatsoever to a person in that situation, so if you think of yourself as a true martial artist, with high moral and ethical values and believe in the martial art code – then prove it by taking a few minutes of your time to find out what you can do to help others who are not so lucky.
THE CURSE OF MEMORIES
How ironic that the gift of recall is what helps us to define who we are, to a degree, and that without the ability to remember past events it would leave us walking around aimlessly. But that very ability that helps us to remember joy is also a curse for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, for example, or someone who has been through a war zone and lived to tell the tale.
Aftershock is all about those bad traumatic memories that often stay with people all of their lives – therefore is it the wounds that makes a victim of violent crime, or rape, want to commit suicide, or at the very least, they become mentally ill and wish to self harm themselves? – the answer to that of course is no, it’s the memories of the trauma that remains within their head for the rest of their lives that makes them turn to drugs, booze and medication in the vain hope of forgetting what was done to them.
Maybe it’s time the amount of focus that is placed on the law and prevention is shifted to the victims and their never-ending hell that they are going through for a change?
Maybe if school education included what victims go through then maybe more people will walk away from crime in the first place after seeing such things at a younger age?
People will always deal with the effects of trauma in their own way.
Some will recover over a very short period of time while others will fight the effects of their experience for many years to come. Victims will often go through various stages of emotion that can range from sorrow to blind anger but some will find that humour is also a good way of dealing with the situation. Making someone smile can help at times.
YOU CAN’T BE READY ALL THE TIME
Most, if not all, self defence scenarios’ are based upon someone, (or several people), standing in front of you and moving forward to attack you in various ways. In some situations this could also involve being attacked from behind of course. However there are times when the victim is not only overpowered by total surprise but also beaten while being restrained or strapped down. In that situation, which could and often does also involve rape, the victim could be subject to a prolonged beating over a long period of time.
Being martial art trained, or not, being ready for anything all the time, and knowing what to do when under such a dramatic situation, is just not possible in some situations. Knowing what to expect from a trauma victim and how to help and deal with it yourself is vital if you do not wish to do more harm than good.