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Childhood trauma influences governance

I was adopted.

There are many things that I could talk about on this subject, however, I want to focus on the evidence-based view that our experiences as children fundamentally influence our behaviours, our decisions and how we interact with the world around us, including within our workplace.

Let’s look at some statistics.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey is a widely recognised method of assessing childhood trauma. The initial piece of research was carried over 20 years ago and it measures childhood trauma by asking 10 questions.

The questions are asked to adults, and they are asked if, before the age of 18, they had experienced any of10 listed traumas.

One question is:

Before your 18th birthday, was a biological parent ever lost to you through divorce, abandonment, or other reason?

When an individual undertakes this assessment you come out with a score between zero and 10.

Of the 17,000 participants

60% had experienced one significant childhood trauma

30% had experience three or more significant childhood traumas

12.5% had experienced four or more significant childhood traumas

When you take these statistics and you correlate them with physical and mental health disorders you find a very high level of correlation. The greater the ACE score the higher the incidents of disorders.

Having an ACE score of 4 increases the risk of emphysema or chronic bronchitis by nearly 400 percent, and suicide by 1200 percent. People with high ACE scores are more likely to be violent, to have more marriages, more broken bones, more drug prescriptions, more depression, and more autoimmune diseases.

What we also know is that the significance of the correlation is also dependent upon how early in life the trauma occurred.

Many people think that infants for example between the ages of zero and six months, do not experience trauma for example in the violent home or in my case, the separation from my birth family and being placed into care.

The truth is that the most significant traumas often occur in the first year of life. This is because the infant is less capable of managing the event than an older child.

There is a wonderful change of question that has emerged from the research.

More often than not when a child behaves badly, The question that people ask is,

What’s wrong with you?

The better question to ask, of course is

What happened to you?

We all know and understand that our behavioural patterns of making-decisions and seeing the world comes from our past experiences, and when these experiences are negative and perhaps happened in a recurring pattern consistently, we see this as our augmented reality in everything,

We do

We receive

We see

We feel

We behave

We perceive almost everything we experience.

This is why it is important to protect and nurture the first seven years of a child's life so that we can have a more


Safer &


Tomorrow for our children and humanity.

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