Believing women and children

akidYears ago, when I began interviewing people at organizations that are using the results from the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study to change their practices, I talked with a representative of SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). She said a very interesting thing that stuck with me. The ACE Study, which published its first findings in 1998, confirmed what many people had already suspected or who believed “what women were telling us,” she said.

Women addicted to alcohol or other drugs and/or who had mental illness said that their problems originated in abuse they experienced as children.

“Consumers were coming into our system and telling us this,” said the SAMHSA rep. “I don’t know that they were heard.” The rates of trauma

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