Personal Transformation

Violence Transformed: Posttraumatic Growth in Survivors and Their Societies

January 1, 1999
Aggression and Violent Behavior

Sharing experiences and taking action enables survivors to bring about social transformations, including raising awareness, seeking justice, and preventing future occurrences.

... survivors of violence can become the most powerful members of their societies.
Dr. Richard Tedeschi

Violence can be a catalyst for personal and social transformation. In this review, theory and research on processes that lead to posttraumatic growth are applied to survivors of violence. Certain kinds of rumination appear to lead to revision of fundamental schemas about the self, others, and the future. Revised schemas appear to survivors as personal growth that has occurred as a result of having to cope with their trauma, and this is incorporated into a personal narrative that gives meaning to the trauma and consolidates perceptions of growth.

Survivors often report positive changes in identity, philosophy, and goals. Social transformations occur when survivors tell about their experiences and take other actions that enlighten others, obtain justice, and prevent recurrences of similar events.

Read the Article “Violence Transformed: Posttraumatic Growth in Survivors and Their Societies”

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