Child Psychologist Says The Church Must Do More To Address Child Sexual Abuse

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that adverse childhood experiences (or “ACEs”) are associated with damage to the brain and other systems that are vital to healthy development. ACEs are events that are outside of a child’s control, yet they can have long lasting toxic effects on their health and well-being. Among a laundry list of tragic outcomes, ACEs can predispose children to chronic disease, substance use, social problems, and earlier death relative to those without ACEs.

While much of this research understandably focuses on the individual survivor, a crucial piece that is often overlooked is the collateral damage of these events. ACEs, like child sexual abuse, can cause irreparable damage to families. The repercussions of ACEs reverberate within and across generations, meaning that the negative effects of ACEs extend much further than previously acknowledged.

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