What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

The term Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is used to describe a wide range of stressful or traumatic experiences that children can be exposed to whilst growing up.

ACEs range from experiences that directly harm a child (such as suffering physical, verbal or sexual abuse, and physical or emotional neglect) to those that affect the environment in which a child grows up (including parental separation, domestic violence, mental illness, alcohol abuse, drug use or incarceration).

There are many examples on the internet of the issues that can affect those who have experienced ACEs.

The following animations have been produced by Public Health in Wales and NHS Scotland to raise awareness of the impact of childhood adversity:

Adverse Childhood Experiences, NHS Scotland

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (Wales)