The 3 Spaces of ACEs

Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). ACEs are common, and impact the majority of our population. Through education and understanding we can make a positive impact on this public health issue.

About 61% of adults surveyed across 25 states reported that they had experienced at least one type of ACE, and nearly 1 in 6 reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs (CDC, 2021).

ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance use problems in adulthood. ACEs can also negatively impact education, job opportunities, and earning potential. However, ACEs can be prevented (CDC, 2021).

The 3 Spaces Of ACEs

Adverse Childhood Experience (ACES) can occur in the home, community, and the environment. Toxic stress from ACES, if left ignored, damages children and families, organizations, systems, and communities, and diminishes individuals' and agencies' ability to respond to stressful events with resiliency. There are various approaches to decrease and heal from toxic stress and develop healthy, caring communities.


How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across A Lifetime

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris


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How Can You Help?

Increasing ACE awareness can help:

  • Change people's perceptions of what causes ACEs and who can assist prevent them.

  • Shift the focus away from individual culpability and toward community-based solutions.

  • Reduce the stigma associated with seeking treatment for parental issues, substance abuse, depression, or suicide thoughts.

  • Encourage children to live, learn, and play in situations that are safe, stable, and caring.

We all can do our part in helping all children attain their full potential and to build communities, neighborhoods, and a world where every child may thrive.


Keep Learning

Once you are familiar with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) you will be interested in learning about Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs).

We all have the opportunity to increase PCEs in our families and communities. First we have to learn what PCEs are and how we can use them as tools to decrease future adverse experiences among our youth today, and for future generations to come.

Learn more about the intersection of ACEs and PCEs by visiting our free resource page below.


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