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Peer Trauma & Abuse

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Trauma is entirely subjective, and can happen regardless of intent. Abuse is what happens when someone is deliberately (whether consciously or unconsciously) taking away power & control from a victim. Trauma happens on the inside. Abuse happens on the outside.

Peer interactions can be traumatizing for many reasons.

There are times that peers will deliberately attempt to exert power & control (through teasing, ridicule, imposing shame, bullying, name-calling, etc.) in order to achieve social rank (by bolstering their own standing, or by eliminating the competition by devaluing others).

These acts of jockeying for standing in the peer community can constitute both trauma &/or abuse situations.

Some types of trauma and abuse are more expected from people who are of different cohorts (different age, race, gender, etc.) but in the case of peer trauma & abuse, it comes from people who share a cohort — agemates, same gender, same race, etc. depending on the situation.

Some people seek social standing more assertively or aggressively than others, and can leave victims reeling in their wake.

Please comment about other types of peer trauma or abuse you are aware of.

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