Adverse Childhood Experience

ACE’s are stressful or traumatic experiences including abuse, neglect, and a range of household dysfunctions such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with substance abuse, mental illness, parental discord or incarceration. The impact of a high ACE score affects how a person perceives themselves (self-esteem), how they interact with others, how they cope with the emotional pain and how they cope with toxic stress. ACE’s also leave those affected with confusion and issues around trust, boundaries and respectful relationships.

Women’s Aid RCT offer a toolkit to those affected by ACE’s that have resulted in emotional trauma. The ACE’s Recovery Toolkit is run over 10 weeks and provides guidance on the protective factors that help overcome the impact of ACE’s and practical methods for participants to develop the resilience they need for both themselves and their children. Over the 10 weeks, topics covered are:

  • Understanding and living with ACE’s
  • Understanding toxic stress and strategies to manage it
  • Developing parental resilience
  • Understanding attachment
  • Nurturing parenting styles
  • Managing emotions
  • Developing strategies to reduce the potential impact of ACE’s on children

Aims of the toolkit are for:

  • Participants to better understand the impact that living with ACE’s has had upon them and on their children
  • Participants to develop strategies for building their resilience and that of their children
  • Participants to have increased understanding and implementation of healthy living skills