It is with deep sadness and shock that we write to you following the hate-based mass murder of at least 50 members of the Islamic community in New Zealand with many more causalities. The ASTSS strongly condemns this violence and the ethno-nationalist hate speech that motivates individuals to perpetrate crimes like those in Christchurch.
As professionals who support individuals and communities affected by mass trauma we understand more than most that this violence will not only affect members of the Islamic community directly impacted, but the many witnesses and by-standers, family members, and first responders involved. As with other incidents of mass violence and killing, this incident is likely to reverberate in the lives of those who have experienced past trauma and PTSD, and the wider Islamic and immigrant community that have been the target of this hate. We note that symptom renewal of PTSD following major incidents has been widely documented in the past and may be a matter that affects those who have been victims of trauma and hate based crime in the past.
Our thoughts go to our colleagues in New Zealand who work with many of the survivors of this terrible crime in the months and years ahead. We are mindful that some of you may also be called to directly work with survivors and other community members affected by this violence.
The ASTSS Management Committee.