Vitale Issues Statement on Preventing Childhood Trauma

Trenton – Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Chair Senator Joe Vitale issued the following statement after a press conference and movie screening today that highlighted the importance of preventing childhood trauma:

“This recent Vital Signs report reaffirms what Prevent Child Abuse and other advocates have been telling us for years, preventing adverse childhood experiences can make for healthier generations. We asked legislators and their staff to join us today because it is paramount that every elected official learn about the ACE study and what it means for future policy.

“We must continue efforts to expand access to high quality early education and child care as well as mentoring and after-school programs, programs to strengthen household financial security and we need to insist that our business leaders in our communities help us create family-friendly work policies. Childhood trauma comes in many forms and it’s my hope that we can rally leaders for all aspects of life to come together to prevent it.”

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. ACEs can include violence, abuse, and growing up in a family with mental health or substance use problems. Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress. ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood.