Every person has the basic human need of food, water, shelter and positive touch. When any of these are disrupted or twisted, the person experiences trauma. When these things come from the actions of another person, it is abuse. In recent years, in my local area, there have been parents who locked the food away from their starving children, parents who threw infants into walls - killing them, and men and women who sexually assaulted children in local parks, fields and homes. There have also been numerous men who killed their wives and children, in the furthest extreme of domestic violence. The horror and emotional trauma experienced from being a victim of abuse is absolutely devastating. It strips away self-value, any knowledge of what healthy relationships are, and leaves the individual with a vulnerability to further abuse, both at the hands of others and of self-abusive behaviors as well.
Think for a moment of how the innocence of childhood should be. Children explore their world with gusto, from the moment they are born. Infants begin with the basic exploration of moving their arms and hands, legs and feet; toddlers climb, walk, run, fall down and touch everything they can reach. With each movement and every touch, they are learning. A child who is beaten repeatedly, not only suffers the physical pain of the beating, which reaches down to the very cells of their growing body, but also the psychological distress of the loss of trust, loss of the truth of their own personal value, and the loss of the physical expression of love.
Trauma is the experience of the world that is safe, warm, loving and having ample provision for a person's need, being twisted, turned upside-down and inside-out, and routed out - with the grinding of emotional pain wracking a person in the process.