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What Is Childhood Trauma?

Childhood Trauma is defined as “The experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects

(National Institute of Mental Health)

Adverse Childhood Experiences - Trauma

  • Sexual Abuse or Assault

  • Sex Trafficking

  • Physical Abuse or Assault

  • Dating Violence or Assault

  • Emotional Abuse/Psychological Maltreatment

  • Neglect, including physical neglect, medical neglect, or educational neglect.

  • Serious Accident or Illness or life-threatening disease such as cancer

  • Medical Procedure which is extremely painful and/or life-threatening

  • Witness to Domestic Violence such as emotional abuse, physical or sexual assault, or aggressive control by one parent towards another

  • Victim/Witness to Community Violence such as crime and gang-related violence, shooting, mugging, burglary, assault, bullying

  • School Violence such as school shootings, bullying, interpersonal violence among classmates, and classmate suicide.

  • Natural or Man-made Disasters – hurricanes, floods, earthquakes

  • Forced Displacement such as political asylees or immigrants fleeing political persecution

  • War/Terrorism/Political Violence such as exposure to bombing, shooting, looting, riots, or accidents

  • Victim/Witness to Extreme Personal/Interpersonal Violence such as murder or suicide

  • Traumatic Grief/Separation such as death of a parent, murder, separation of parents, divorce, parent alienation 

  • System-Induced Trauma such as foster home placement or separation of siblings

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