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Overcoming ACEs

"Twenty years of medical research has shown that childhood adversity literally gets under our skin, changing people in ways that can endure in their bodies for decades."

Dr Nadine Burke Harris

Pair of ACEs

Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, are traumatic events in a child’s life that can have lasting effects on health and well-being. Ripcord Connections bring practical experience and unique resources to help all ages identify, understand and overcome the effects ACEs have had on their lives. The concept of ACEs arose during the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, first published in 1998. The study looked at how childhood trauma affects long-term health.

The prevention of all ACEs is a long-term goal. However, developing resilience in individuals and communities is an important strategy to protect those experiencing ACEs from some of their consequences.  Consider that not only can we experience Adverse Childhood Experiences in our home environments but they can also occur in Adverse Community Environments.

3 Aces.jpeg

Your ‘Resilience Quotient’

Resilience is the ability a person has to overcome hardship. It is never too late to build resilience.  It is important for everyone to know that no matter how bad the experience, there is always hope. 

Research has shown us that there are common factors for children who develop resilience enabling them to ‘stack the deck’ by positively counterbalancing their ACEs:


  • one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult

  • learning to cope with manageable stress

  • providing opportunities to strengthen one’s self-regulation skills

  • mobilising sources of faith, hope and cultural traditions 


​Adapted from: Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University. See resilience/

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