Preventing Violence

How Other Cities Are Preventing Group Violence

The Connection Between Trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Violence


Understanding ACEs

Between 1995 and 1997, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente (a large HMO) surveyed over 17,000 mostly white, mostly college-educated, middle class adults with good health insurance and measured how many people had experienced abuse, neglect, or household challenges in childhood – Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs. The higher the ACEs score, the higher the risk of experiencing negative health consequences later in life.

ACEs create ways of interacting with the world that can limit a person's ability to fully function in their lives-- affecting their ability to work, learn, relate to others and experience emotional health.

The trauma experienced in the aftermath of a murder or shooting is significant. The impacts on youth, in particular, are severe and lasting. By providing group therapy to families, including children, the Chester Community Coalition is working to intervene early-on to reduce the long-term consequences of this trauma.

The pyramid below shows the chain of risks set off by ACEs:

Violent Injury & PTSD

5 Minute Primer on ACEs