In my first post I shared with you all the definition of ACES. Those definitions centered around particular acts of violence and abuse that have the potential to cause trauma. This trauma follows people throughout their lives in many ways as we reviewed in my last post. Looking at the consequences of ACES we saw that the outcome of trauma is not only living with the memory of the experience, but suffering in many other ways mentally, physically, and socially. As we have talked about the data and information at hand via the CDC, there is some material I would imagine you were surprised by. If not, then I am grateful to know that you have been informed. In an effort to reduce suffering and pain that is caused to others, including our loved ones, it is important that we now focus on what we can do to prevent this trauma.
A main part of preventing such violent and other cruel acts is starting the discussion about them. Unfortunately abuse, neglect, and household challenges are frequent experiences as evidenced by the previous data. So, to start a discussion we need to be able to provide the truth and the facts. People have suffered enough pain that they do not need further opinions, stigma, and lies to silence them. These discussions are not limited to only those who have or have not experienced these challenges, but a combination of both. Starting a conversation as a community brings forth more support and access to resources. It also helps in reducing stigma and provides opportunities to be in a safe space.
In trying to target childhood abuse and neglect specifically we look to bigger societal issues that will require an army to support change. Much of what impacts abuse and neglect are financial and social deficits and expectations that are unattainable to a great deal of people. Financial support is low and rarely available, and positive change in communities is more than an overnight job. To see changes in the people we need to provide opportunities for change and learning. Hosting positive parenting classes and childhood development are examples of community-based classes that could be held. The more we can intervene into the community the better the chance we have at preventing future risk.
See this table of prevention strategies provided by the CDC.
-Courtney, Graduate Intern
Thanks for following along. For more information on ACES check out the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/aces/fastfact.html. For more mental health blogs check out our website https://counselingmatters.live/.