“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily but not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet” Rachel Naomi Ramen.
Mental and allied health professionals, lawyers, the judiciary, and corrective services staff intersect the lives of others at critical and often traumatic junctures. These professions are frequently indirectly exposed to trauma through listening to accounts of traumatic events, exposure to distressing images, reading police, psychological and medical reports and victim impact statements.
In this article, the authors reflect on the VT experience of lawyers and mental health professionals working with victim-survivors of sexual abuse, harassment, assault and rape. Josh Bornstein is Principal lawyer in Industrial Relations and Employment Law at Maurice Blackburn, practicing in this field for over 20 years. Naomi Halpern is director of Delphi Training and Consulting. She has over 30 years’ experience working with victim-survivors of trauma and abuse.