What I Just Read Has Triggered Me!

Reading about any sort of violence can be hard. If you have experienced violence or abuse, it can be especially difficult to talk to your child(ren) about topics that remind you of your own abuse.

What Are Triggers?

A trigger is a connection to a traumatic event that may cause a deep and emotional reaction. Triggers can be smells, colors, songs, touches and even certain words. Triggers can be anything, and there is no way to fully prevent the potential of a trigger. Reading these books with a child or discussing the books can bring up difficult feelings. These feelings are normal.

Support When You are Triggered

To address these challenges, try building a system of support that helps you as you begin to explore more of these topics in-depth with the children in your life. These additional supports will help you process those hurtful reminders and understand the responses you may have to them.

Supports may look like:

  • Calling hotlines that specialize in domestic and sexual violence
  • Reaching out to advocates at local domestic and sexual violence agencies
  • Contacting a friend, family member or a partner who you can speak with
  • Putting a pause on the discussion until you’re emotionally ready to continue

You aren’t alone, and don’t have to go through it alone. On page 11 of this toolkit, you will find information on resources in your community.