Volume 21, Issue 1

Complex Relational Trauma: A useful concept in understanding how women victims of domestic violence function

A complex relational traumatization notion is developed, regarding intimate partner violence against women. The perspective on the phenomena intertwines psychodynamic contributions, with the evolution of trauma concept and posttraumatic stress disorder within psychiatry and, studies on interpersonal trauma. Considering these contributions, a perspective that emphasizes the notion of process (traumatization) over event (trauma) is developed, in the context of a meaningful relationship which signifies and prescribes the abusive dynamic, leading to complex consequences in victims, who tend to maintain re-victimization behaviours, provoking frustration among intervention agents. It is proposed that this could be a useful notion to enrich the comprehension of victims functioning and to guide interventions.

trauma, traumatization, domestic violence, re-victimization

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