Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is trauma that happens to a child--this can be anything from sexual/emotional/physical abuse, violence, neglect, poverty, homelessness, domestic abuse, etc. As more scientific research continues in this area, it is being discovered the impacts that this trauma has on a child both with their physical health, as well as their mental (the trauma actually changes the brain development) and emotional well-being. ACEs can affect a person throughout the course of their life. They have higher rates of mental health issues (depression, anxiety, suicide), chronic disease, drug/alcohol addiction, unintended pregnancies, etc.
If we truly want to help our children who have been victims of trauma, it is imperative we teach resilience and empathy, as well as create a compassionate community in which those children are safe, loved, and nurtured. This has HUGE potential to help our children and future leaders find peace, guidance, and structure in a world that has been anything but. I urge you to learn more about ACEs research and find ways to include trauma therapies in your communities that focus on our most vulnerable...our children. And as we help our children, we will begin to stop the cyclical chain of abuse from one generation to the next. It is my hope that in doing so, we will begin to create the change we so desperately need.