WHY WE DO IT

We work on behalf of survivors of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and sexual assault because we know that while child abuse and domestic violence regulatory agencies, funding structures and advocacy networks may have been developed in silos, that’s not how those issues are experienced in the real world.

There is nothing inevitable about abuse. Together, we can stop it.

ACE Study

Beginning in 1995, the Centers for Disease Control worked with California-based healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente on a landmark study involving more than 17,000 people, to study the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), on long-term physical and mental health. There were seven separate ACEs identified

  • Emotional abuse experienced by the child
  • Physical abuse experienced by the child
  • Sexual abuse experienced by the child
  • Exposure to substance abuse by a parent
  • Violent treatment of mother
  • Mental Illness
  • Exposure to criminal behavior

The ACE Study found that if a child is exposed to one of the adverse experiences, the probability of being exposed to a second was 80 percent, and the probability of being exposed to three or more was 54 percent.

The study uncovered a direct correlation between the incidence of ACEs and poor health outcomes. “As the number of ACE increase, the risk for health problems … increases in a strong and graded fashion,” the CDC reports. The higher a person’s “ACE score,” the more likely it is that a person will experience:

  • Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Depression
  • Fetal death
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Illicit drug use
  • Ischemic heart disease (IHD)
  • Liver disease
  • Risk for intimate partner violence
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Smoking
  • Suicide attempts
  • Unintended pregnancies
  • Early initiation of smoking
  • Early initiation of sexual activity
  • Adolescent pregnancy

“Simply stated, physical, psychological, and emotional trauma during childhood can result in damage to multiple brain structures and functions.” (Source - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))

You can learn more about the ACE study here.