To find out what your Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) score is, go to the following link: www.acestudy.org/calcuator
According to the website of this information, www.acestudy.org , an ACE is described below.
Please note that the above links are no longer valid. For detailed information on the study, go to https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/about.html
Growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18:
-Recurrent physical abuse
-Recurrent emotional abuse
-Contact sexual abuse
-An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the household
-An incarcerated household member
-Someone who is chronically depressed,mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
-Mother is treated violently
-One or no parents
-Emotional or physical neglect
The ACE Study used a simple scoring method to determine the extent of each study participant's exposure to childhood trauma. Exposure to one category (not incident) of ACE, qualifies as one point. When the points are added up, the ACE Score is achieved. An ACE Score of 0 (zero) would mean that the person reported no exposure to any of the categories of trauma listed as ACEs above. An ACE Score of 9 would mean that the person reported exposure to all of the categories of trauma listed above. The ACE Score is referred to throughout all of the peer-reviewed publications about the ACE Study findings.
Here are some major points highlighted in the presentation that I found of great interest on this topic.
1) Two thirds of girls and one third of boys have been sexually abused.
2) Two thirds of British mothers said they hit they routinely hit their child in the first year of life.
3) Of participants struggling with obesity, 66% reported 1 or more types of abuse.
4) Physical and emotional abuse were most strongly associated with obesity.
5) People with more than a 5 ACE score were 7 to 10 times more likely to have problems with illicit drug use.
6) People with a score of 4 or higher, 16.1% became alcoholics as adults.
7) Adverse child experiences increased the attempted suicide rate two to five times.
8) Adverse child experiences showed a strong relationship to the presence of adult diseases including ischemic heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, skeletal fractures and liver disease.
9) Likelihood of becoming an adult smoker having a score of 4 or greater was 12 to 16%.
10) Chronic Depression accounted for 58% of women and 35% of men with a score of 4 or higher.
11) After 50 years from the time of the adverse childhood experience, more than 97% with a score of 4 or higher used antidepressant medications.
12) The more that people have experienced adverse childhood experiences, the more prevalent it is that they have unexplained symptoms when visiting the doctor that cause them pain and discomfort.
13) For a score of 4 or higher, 34% had impaired childhood memory issues.
14) The greater the number of childhood adverse experiences, the higher the absenteeism on the job, the more serious financial problems that exist and the greater the job problems for that individual.
15) The greater the number of childhood adverse experiences, the higher numbers of teens having sexual intercourse by the age of 15, the higher the number of teen pregnancy and teens becoming parents.
16) Having more than 50 sexual partners in your life time (sexual promiscuity) is greater with the increased childhood adverse experiences.
17) For those with a score of 4 or higher, COPD and breathing difficulties are found in 17.5%.
18) The greater the number of adverse conditions, the lower the life expectancy and by a very significant amount. About 20 years gets shaved off of the life expectancy of those with severe child abuse. It is not inevitable and you can do things about it but if you don't, than it is chilling what happens.
19) Exposure to physical abuse, sexual abuse and intimate partner violence in childhood were 3.5 times more likely in women to report victimization and men to be 3.8 times more likely to report intimate partner violence perpetration.
20) Child abuse by relationship to the victim is mostly by the parent (78%). Unknown abusers account for 3.9%, doctors and professionals at 1.1%, and relatives at 6.5%. Clearly, of the people in this study, the parents who are known to the children are the biggest perpetrators. Most child abuse victims know their abusers.
Much of this information is not surprising to me for I have lived through it and know it all too well. Some of the results were more dramatic than I realized but they make perfect sense to me.
Often people think that the unknown sex offender or child abuser living somewhere down the street is the biggest threat and time and time again, I continue to tell people, it is not so! Yes, they do abuse children and they should be watched closely. The bigger problem though is that most child abuse victims no the people abusing them and in this study, 78% of the abusers were parents.
All too often, we fail to open up to what is really going on in our society and until we remove the log from our eyes, child abuse is going to continue. Too much in our society is set up to give protection to those who do this. From churches offering forgiveness hoping the abuser will sin no more to the laws of our land favoring the abuser over the victim.
Please take a moment and view the presentation on YouTube that I have posted below. You will see first hand the stats I was trying to highlight in this blog post. The details are more chilling but again, we as a society need to wake up and say no more! We need to say, no child is going to be abused. Unfortunately we focus on everything else rather than what truly matters and so our children continue to be less than human in the eyes of our society.
How much longer can we continue to hide from the effects of childhood abuse and trauma?
Presentation Video on Youtube: The Bomb In The Brain, Part 1