UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUE:
Many children today are exposed to violence within their own homes, through the media, and in their surrounding neighborhoods.
The media is the leading source of exposure of violence for children. This includes violent content in video/computer games, television shows and movies. It is estimated that children witness 12,000+ acts of violence on average each year within their own homes--on their own devices/televisions/computers.
Millions of children witness domestic violence within their homes each year. Fifty percent of adult males who abuse their female partners will also abuse their children. Domestic violence does not discriminate. It occurs within all socio-economic backgrounds, religions, rural/urban areas, nationalities, races, cultural backgrounds, classes, sexual orientation, ages, and political standings.
Outside violence is an increasing threat for children. Although violence occurs in all realms of society, community violence is seen most often in urban settings.
Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a substantial impact on a child's future. Much of the foundational research in this area has been referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
ACEs can be prevented--and addressed. Learn more.
Sexual abuse has a negative impact on children’s educational attainment (MacMillan, 2000), later job performance (Anda et al., 2004), and earnings (MacMillan, 2000).
Costs and Consequences of Sexual Violence and Cost-Effective Solutions, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (2011).IMPACTS TO INCOME
Sexual violence survivors experience reduced income in adulthood as a result of victimization in adolescence, with a lifetime income loss estimated at $241,600(MacMillan, 2000). Sexual abuse interferes with women’s ability to work (Lyon, 2002).
Costs and Consequences of Sexual Violence and Cost-Effective Solutions, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (2011).IMPACTS TO HEALTH
Adult women who were sexually abused as a child are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression as women who were not sexually abused.
Rohde, P., Ichikawa, L., Simon, G. E., Ludman, E. J., Linde, J. A. Jeffery, R. W., & Operskalski, B. H. (2008). Associations of child sexual and physical abuse with obesity and depression in middle-aged women. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 878– 887.
Adults with a history of child sexual abuse are more than twice as likely to report a suicide attempt.
Dube, S. A., Anda, R. F., Whitfield, C. L., Brown, D. W., Felitti, D. J., Dong, M., & Giles, W. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of the victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430 – 437.
Waldrop, A. E. Hanson, R. F., Resnick, H. S., Kilpatrick, D. G., Naugle, A. E., & Saunders, B. E. (2007). Risk factors for suicidal behavior among a national sample of adolescents: Implications for prevention. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20, 869 – 879.
Females who are sexually abused are three times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders than females who are not sexually abused.
Day, A., Thurlow, K., & Woolliscroft, J. (2003). Working with childhood sexual abuse: A survey of mental health professionals.Child Abuse & Neglect, 27, 191-198.
Kendler, K., Bulik, C., Silberg, J., Hettema, J., Myers, J., & Prescott, C. (2000). Childhood sexual abuse and adult psychiatric and substance use disorders in women: An epidemiological and Cotwin Control Analysis. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 953-959.
Voeltanz, N., Wilsnack, S., Harris, R., Wilsnack, R., Wonderlich, S., Kristjanson, A. (1999). Prevalence and risk for childhood sexual abuse in women: National survey findings. Child Abuse and Neglect, 23, 579-592.
Adults with a history of child sexual abuse are 30% more likely than their non-abused peers to have a serious medical condition such as diabetes, cancer, heart problems, stroke or hypertension.
Sachs-Ericsson, N., Blazer, D., Plant, E. A., & Arnow, B. (2005). Childhood sexual and physical abuse and 1-year prevalence of medical problems in the National Comorbidity Survey. Health Psychology, 24, 32 – 40.MAJOR FINDINGS
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are common. Almost two-thirds of study participants reported at least one ACE, and more than one in five reported three or more ACEs.
The ACE score, a total sum of the different categories of ACEs reported by participants, is used to assess cumulative childhood stress. Study findings repeatedly reveal a graded dose-response relationship between ACEs and negative health and well-being outcomes across the life course.MORE ABOUT A.C.E.