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Jennifer Karapetian: imprisoned in a web of trauma
Intergenerational trauma can lead to a perpetual cycle of substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, child abuse, interpersonal violence, and other criminal behavior.

A child exposed to toxic stress may suffer severe emotional and cognitive problems and have difficulty forming positive relationships. These children may develop depression, anxiety, or PTSD. They may grow into adolescents who seek drugs, alcohol, or engage in risky sexual behaviors to numb their pain. These children then become adults who may end up repeating the cycle of violence upon those closest to them – their partner, parent, or child. The wound then bleeds into the next generation, and the abusive pattern continues. We can break the cycle of intergenerational trauma through greater access to mental health and substance abuse treatment, education, and community awareness.

Jennifer Karapetian is the Supervising Deputy District Attorney for the Vulnerable Victim’s Unit of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office. She has been a prosecutor for over 12 years, most of which have been spent prosecuting child abuse, molestation, domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, and human trafficking cases. She previously sat on the Board of Directors for Domestic Violence Solutions and has appeared on the show “48 Hours.”

Apr 19, 2023 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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