ISTSS Resources Related to Discrimination, Bias Crimes and Hate-Based Violence

Dear ISTSS Members,

I am writing as many of our communities in the U.S. and around the world continue to mourn the tragic loss of life associated with discrimination, hate and bias-motivated violence. We are also acutely aware of the inequities embedded in the socioeconomic structure and cultural fabric of many of our countries, including the United States. Furthermore, many of these injustices disproportionately affect communities of color. Our own scientific and clinical expertise has long demonstrated the damaging effects of discrimination, bias and injustice on individuals, communities and society at large.

I wanted to share an ISTSS resource that may be of particular relevance at this time—the ISTSS Briefing Paper: Global Perspectives on the Trauma of Hate-Based Violence. Although the sole focus of the briefing paper is not on race-based violence, this 2019 resource reviews existing research on the traumatic impact of hate-based violence and the mental health needs of survivors and communities affected by this type of violence. I hope you will consider sharing this briefing paper with colleagues who may find it of use.

As part of our strategic plan, ISTSS has committed itself to creating a diverse and engaged society. We have prioritized promoting diversity and inclusivity among our membership. We know that the purpose of diversity is to reach our end goal—preventing trauma exposure and ameliorating the effects of traumatic stress when it occurs. We are acutely aware that these events and effects are disproportionately felt by marginalized communities and that we cannot reach those solutions without having all the voices in the room. We also know that the work of inclusion and of creating real change is critically important and never-ending.

For those who are especially interested in promoting this dialogue and work, I would encourage you to reach out to the ISTSS Diversity and Cultural Competence SIG, the Gender and Trauma SIG and the Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity SIG as well as the ISTSS Diversity Committee as groups within ISTSS that are helping foster these discussions.

Thank you for being part of our community.

Debra Kaysen, PhD
ISTSS President