National Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 Or text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733

What Is ACEs?

Early Adversity Has Lasting Impacts

Adverse childhood experiences, known as ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood between ages 0-17. They are things that happen before adulthood that cause trauma. Or, they are things that make a child feel like their home isn’t safe or stable.

Some examples of ACEs include:

  • Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
  • Violence in the home
  • Substance use problems in the home
  • Emotional or physical neglect
  • Divorce or separation of parents

ACEs Is Common

About 64% of U.S. adults reported they had experienced at least one type of ACE before age 18, and nearly 1 in 6 (17.3%) reported they had experienced 4 or more types of ACES.

ACEs Negatively Affect Health

ACEs can have lasting, negative effects on health and overall well-being. These experiences increase the risks of injury, involvement in sex trafficking, maternal and child health problems, chronic diseases, and more.

ACEs Affect Some More Than Others

While all children are at risk of ACEs, numerous studies have shown ACEs were highest among females, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults, and unemployed adults or adults who are unable to work, according to the CDC.

ACEs Is Preventable

Creating and sustaining safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families can prevent ACEs and help all children reach their full potential.

Early Adversity Has Lasting Impacts

Unhealed abuse isn’t something children just “get over.” There’s a lifelong ripple effect that has a massive effect on the individual, their family, school, work, and communities. The more ACEs a child experiences, the more likely they are to struggle later in life as an adult.

What Is Sex Trafficking?

Connection Between ACEs & Sex Trafficking

Trafficking is usually not an individual’s first experience with trauma. Maltreated children are more susceptible to exploitation in human trafficking.

In one study from 2017, sexual abuse was the strongest predictor of human trafficking — the odds of human trafficking were 2.52 times greater for girls who experienced sexual abuse, and there was an 8.21 times greater risk for boys who had histories of sexual abuse.

National & Local Helplines

National Human Trafficking Hotline

Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week

National Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline

Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week

Caring Unlimited: Domestic Violence Resources

Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week

Maine Domestic Violence Hotline

Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week

Intentional Peer Support Warmline

Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week

Maine Sexual Assault Helpline

Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week

Maine Suicide and Crisis Line

Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week

Maine Teen Text Line

Available 2pm-10pm EST/7 days a week

What Is Sex Trafficking?

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