Mass Trauma and Re-Victimization from a Pioneer’s Perspective…Dr. Yael Danieli



“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”  Harvey S. Firestone 

“God must have been on leave during the Holocaust.”  Simon Wiesenthal

From the beginning of time, there have been all manner of catastrophic events that seemingly crumble civilizations, wipe out the underpinnings of our environment and natural resources. There have been attempts to stifle the growth of cultures and religions, and denigrate belief systems and communities through all forms of violence.  However, that which separates man from beast includes the ability of man to communicate the hardships and to demonstrate resiliency in a higher form more sophisticated than those who roam the jungles…

Dr. Yael Danieli,Donna R. Gore, Shattered LIves

Whether we call ourselves victims or survivors…. Whether we can cope and capture the devastation in the “corner of our minds” and still carry on in a meaningful way depends upon many factors.  One thing is for sure… as a consequence of experiencing trauma; a real and lasting multi-generational impact occurs.  Examining this topic is an enormous feat, one which has great personal worth on an academic, scientific and personal level to Dr. Yael Danieli.  She has opened Pandora’s box. She has chosen to reveal the depths of pain to foster a better understanding of the human condition like few others.

“Shattered Lives” hosts, Ladyjustice and Delilah had the unique opportunity to learn from this internationally acclaimed researcher, author, consultant, clinician and delightful woman!  Take the journey with us… It is well worth the ride…


 Listen to the Podcast

  • Announcements by Ladyjustice:
  • Introduction to our guest:
  • “A conspiracy of silence” – What is it and how does it relate to victimization?
  • Blaming the victim – Examples- subtle and overt’
  • Delilah asks about how one deals with someone else’s victimization other than mass trauma?
  • “The second wound”  those who are not there for victims explained;
  • Implied judgments internally  … the “third wound;”
  • Media forces regarding  sensationalizing a crime;
  • Conscious versus  unconscious reactions;
  • Learning to live with it… impact on further generations;
  • A discussion of resiliency… “I’m glad you brought that up;”
  • The second wound/ conspiracy of silence effects the outcome  when victims are supported;
  • Types of Resiliency – not letting things effect  you and/or ”coping with the shatter;”
  • Post Traumatic Growth-developing realizations, insights about what is important to us, changing our values as a result of trauma;
  • Yael’s most recent research  re Holocaust survivors and their children;
  • A crowning achievement – ***Building the first program to help Nazi Holocaust survivors and their children;
  • A discussion of the psychology of hope… and Holocaust survivor, terminally ill persons and POW’s … What was revealed?
  • The conspiracy of silence and the second wound – WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE TRAUMA   (the Aftermath) IS AS SERIOUS AS THE INITIAL TRAUMA ITSELF!   Succeeding generations….
  • The Survivor’s Syndrome ….precursor of post traumatic stress disorder;
  • A discussion of post trauma adaptational styles:
    1. “The Victim” Adaptational  style:  Separations are extremely threatening;
    2. “The Fighter” Adaptational style:  You work all the time, can’t relax, ‘have to be ready for any challenge (Like Ladyjustice??)   Yael cautions us…
    3. “The numb” family- The most tragic family – They are the sole survivors…
  • What is the type of dynamic regarding the numb family?
  • “Those who made it”  to success to build awareness; (Really most similar to Ladyjustice)   Paying a high price;
  • International Handbook of  Multi-Generational Legacies of Trauma by Yael Danieli “The Handbook of  Trauma” –Describes 32 populations worldwide experiencing mass trauma:
  • Developing a measure with co-researchers of how trauma goes from generation to generation; (800 responders thus far…)
  • The most rewarding for Yael… “My clinical work is sacred…”
  • Yael’s legacy…. Building an Institute or a research center for Multi-generational Legacies of Trauma…. YES!
  • Let’s not forget….International Victim’s Rights Law… a team approach on an international level; Reparation of crime and the international criminal courts;
  • Reference: Delivering on the promise of a fair, effective and independent Court > Trust Fund for Victims:
  • Definition: Reparative Justice;
  • Making the most impact- Converging circles – explained….
  • The importance of training –and who can teach others?
  • A discussion of the media’s impact and unlimited reparative possibilities – for the future…
  • Yael’s parting advice on the importance of victims of trauma; Reach out; take the risk in speaking out;
  • People care….. Find the right group for you!
  • Contact information:;


Questions, Questions, Questions….

  • What is the area of study that Dr. Danieli pioneered?
  • What does a victim do so that the listener does not become overwhelmed with hearing about the victimization;
  • What is the significance of Martin Simmons, a former NYC cop turned psychiatrist?
  • What is the commonality among all types of victimization?
  • Can we truly heal from victimization?
  • What is involved in the timetable of healing?
  • What are some of the components of resiliency?
  • What are the differing professional opinions regarding resiliency?
  • When was the first real attempt to address the needs of Holocaust survivors?
  • What was Dr. Danieli’s dissertation about?
  • What is the impact of the aftermath of mass trauma as it relates to the conspiracy of silence or the second wound?
  • Child of survivor’s syndrome – What is involved in post trauma adaptation styles?
  • What are some illustrations of the Victim Adaptational Style?
  • How do family members behave in the “victim” versus the “fighter” adaptive families?
  • What is the primary way of life in the “numb” family type?
  • Have adaptations of trauma been adequately researched- Why or why not?
  • What has been the outcome thus far with the preliminary results of the family adaptational styles;
  • How do the provisions for victim’s rights compare internationally?
  • Why is reparative-restorative justice so important?
  • What is the common denominator regarding making the most impact with eliminating victimization in our own time?

Mass Trauma and Re-Victimization from a Pioneer’s Perspective…Dr. Yael Danieli

The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.”


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