One in seven. If those were your odds of winning the lottery, you wouldn’t count yourself out. Now apply those odds to the likelihood a girl will be sexually abused before her 18th birthday. Suddenly, the odds are terrifying. In Tennessee, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hamilton County (CACHC) faces facts like that every day. While fewer boys (one in 25) will be sexually abused than girls, both statistics are indicative of a cycle of abuse and neglect that affects more than 65,000 children in Tennessee each year — and that’s just the cases that are reported. “We treat sexual abuse most, but about half of the kids we see have something else going on, too,” says Stacy Cook, director […]
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Can a person be destined to fail? Rationally, we say the answer is no — people have choices, even when life deals a difficult hand. “,” says ACE Awareness Foundation Director Ellen Rolfes. “When children experience strong, frequent or prolonged adversity at home, it creates toxic stress, which changes their brains — literally. When those kids grow up, they are more likely to struggle with everything from violence to disease to incarceration.” The scientific basis for toxic stress dates back to the “ACE Study” of the 1990s. It was the largest investigation ever conducted on childhood maltreatment and its effect on adult well-being, and it proved ACEs cause serious problems — aggression, addiction, obesity, unemployment — across all socioeconomic and […]
Adverse childhood experiences create toxic stress, which disrupts brain development, physically altering DNA. The more ACEs you have, the more likely you are to experience these outcomes, especially if your score is 4 or higher. Find your score here.