On 2 April 2019, twenty-five of us met at RVA to watch the film, ‘Resilience, the biology of stress and the science of hope’ and following this, to discuss its implications for our work.
The event was organised by the WAVE Trust who are running the 70/30 Campaign, aiming to decrease childhood abuse by 70% by the year 2030. Currently, more than a fifth of all children in the UK suffer significant abuse or neglect (Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs). Only a tenth of them get any help.
The 70/30 approach is to prevent maltreatment to children before it happens, by tackling the root causes of maltreatment, such as parental mental health problems, domestic violence issues, substance abuse, and a whole host of other issues affecting parents. Early, effective support would help parents deal with these problems before they cause long term damage.
The film shows how the greater the number of ACEs, the more likely the long-term consequences – for example, addiction, expulsion from school, prison, mental health problems and physical health problems – so that, for example, a child who has suffered from six or more ACEs is likely to die twenty years younger than a neighbour who has not.
ACEs are incredibly common, some research showing that over a third of us have them, but research also shows that there is much that can be done to increase resilience, for example: having an Always Available Adult (AAA) and understanding that it makes a difference to be compassionate and ask, ‘what happened to you?’, instead of ‘what have you done?’. Our aim is to make Reading a trauma-informed town.
If you missed the screening at RVA, you can book for upcoming screenings via Eventbrite:
- 3 June 2019, 9.30am to 12.30pm, at West Berkshire Council Offices in Newbury
- 12 June 2019, 7pm to 9pm at Oxford Road Primary School, Reading
- 1 July 2019, 9.30am to 12.30pm at Wokingham Council Offices