April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month!
Have you seen those lovely blue pinwheels littering your city lately? These blue pinwheels are the national symbol for Prevent Child Abuse America. Their mission “is to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children” by implementing child development efforts.
These efforts focus on things such as shaken baby syndrome prevention, sexual safety and child abuse prevention, peer abuse and bullying prevention, among others. Prevent Child Abuse America works to promote the healthy development of our nation’s children and prevent child abuse before it can occur. They have chapters in every state dedicated to promoting strategies and activities for preventing abuse and neglect.
These prevention efforts are necessary and needed to bring an end to what the Public Health community calls Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE’s.
What are ACE’s?
ACE’s, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, are potentially traumatic events, experienced as a child (ages 0 -17 years), that can have negative, lasting effects on a person’s health and well-being. These experiences can be from physical, mental, or emotional abuse, neglect, or any kind of household dysfunction (mental illness in the home, incarcerated relative, parental divorce, etc.). Studies have shown a connection between ACE’s and negative health outcomes later in life such as obesity, depression, drug use, heart disease, and/or cancer.
Find your ACE Score
The higher the ACE Score, the greater the risk of experiencing poor physical and mental health. If you’re interested in finding out what your ACE score is click here.
To use this survey, add up all of the YES responses. The sum of the YES’s is your ACE Score. The ACE Score can range from “0”, meaning no exposure to the ten categories of child abuse and trauma, to “10”, meaning exposure to all ten categories. For more detailed information on what your score means check out ACESTooHigh.com.
Don’t be Silent
If any of the questions made you feel uncomfortable, or caused you distress, please contact a licensed healthcare provider for help. PLEASE.
Together we can bring an end to child abuse and Adverse Childhood traumatic Experiences. Our children are our nation’s greatest resource. Without children there is no future. Protect them. If you or someone you know has experienced trauma as a child please don’t be afraid to seek help. There are counselors and doctors dedicated to helping you cope and deal with those often repressed feelings. Don’t be afraid of counseling or therapy. It does more harm than good I promise.
Awesome infographic about ACE’s. Feel free to share! =)