CDV is the least known of 10 major Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that Can Define a Life

Childhood Domestic Violence doesn’t typically happen in isolation.

If you grew up with CDV, there is a good chance that you also experienced one or more of the other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).

The term “Adverse Childhood Experiences” (ACEs) comes from the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Study conducted in 1995-1997. It originally began in an obesity clinic. As the study grew, it started to uncover links between childhood trauma, chronic disease, and mental health issues.

It became the largest body of research to categorize 10 types of childhood trauma and understand the long-term impacts on health.  These ACEs are linked to childhood trauma, chronic illness, mental health problems, and other challenges that can impact a child’s entire life.

You may wonder why CDV is considered one of the ACEs if a child doesn’t experience direct physical harm. Unfortunately, experiencing CDV can lead to many of the same challenges that are associated with physical child abuse. 

Childhood Domestic Violence instills a cluster of false negative beliefs – or LIES – people internalize about themselves and the world. If left unchallenged, they can last well into adulthood with serious and even tragic consequences.

These negative beliefs are not true. But since encoded early on, the brain, doing its job, seeks to find more evidence throughout life of what it already believes is true…true or not…while filtering out any information that doesn’t support its beliefs.

So if unchallenged, the LIES can become lifelong and unquestioned – the brain’s default position. That’s just who they are. That can negatively impact key areas of life, holding them back from their goals and innate potential.

Click image to learn more about ACEs.

The Impact of ACEs

ACEs can impact all areas of a child’s life, leading to poor physical, mental, and behavioral outcomes into adulthood. Additionally, trauma from ACEs can also cause gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory, and dermatological symptoms.

The stress caused by ACEs can cause chemical disruptions in the brain, impeding proper development. When a child lives in a constant state of fight or flight, the regular release of adrenaline and cortisol build up into toxic stress. This process redirects more resources to the survival part of the brain. Furthermore, according to studies conducted by the CDC-Permanente Study, ACEs can even damage a child’s DNA and shorten their lifespan.

The Numbers of ACEs Predicts the Future

The ACE Study discovered that not only do these ACE’s impact a life, but they often co-occur – where there’s one adversity, there’s often more. According to researcher Jeff Edleson, more than 50% of those who experience CDV experience 5 or more other adversities as well.

For example, CDV is frequently linked to physical child abuse. One study finds that seven in ten men who are violent toward their partners are also violent toward their children. Another suggests that in homes with CDV, children are 15 times more likely to be abused by a parent.

ACEs studies utilize ACE scoring, finding that the higher someone’s ACE score, the more types of childhood adversity they experienced. Consequently, this increases the likelihood of more negative impacts in physical and mental behavior and health.

Take the ACE quiz by clicking on the image.

What You Can Do Next

You may now have learned you have grown up with one or more ACEs, including CDV. But what if you still are not sure if you grew up with CDV and hope to learn more? Than take the next step and click below to find out more about CDV.

Perhaps you now are fully aware you grew up with CDV and want to take action to reverse the impact of it, as it is never too late to do so. According to a leading expert on how the brain learns…they will not reach their full potential…unless they “unlearn” what was learned in that home.

The best way to unlearn is to have someone step in and offer a different perspective that challenges the false beliefs and shifts the brain onto a different path. For every LIE, there’s, corresponding TRUTH. Exposing the LIES and embracing the TRUTHS is the path to healing, overcoming the impact and thriving. Our Worksheets is a great first step to help you at any point in your adulthood to reverse the impact of CDV.