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So far Cody Adams has created 5 blog entries.

The Ace Study and Why It Matters Over 15 Years Later

by Cody Adams
(Lone Oak, TX)

There is no denial that our future lies in the children of today and tomorrow. This is why so many in the medical and science fields, dedicate their lives to finding solutions to problems related to children and identifying correlations to better predict issues at hand and prevent them. It often takes years, even decades, for ground breaking studies and solutions to reach the masses with the vital information and then implement it. But this gap in time from the initial findings to implementation, does not detract from the information or make it any less valuable, in fact it makes it even that much more important when the results are of epidemic proportions.

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In 1997, one of the most important studies in relation to child abuse was released, changing the way we view child abuse forever. Helping us  to understand the actual scale of abuse and how it has reached epidemic levels. This study is known as the ACE or Adverse Childhood Experience Study and is considered one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The study is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego.

The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. It is critical to understand how some of the worst health and social problems in our nation can arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences. Realizing these connections is likely to improve efforts towards prevention and recovery. Almost two-thirds of the study participants reported at least one ACE point, and more than one of five reported three or more ACE. The    short and long-term outcomes of these childhood exposures include a multitude of health and social problems. Here are some of the effects:

• Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• Depression
• Fetal death
• Health-related quality of life
• Illicit drug use
• Ischemic heart disease (IHD)
• Liver disease
• Risk for intimate partner violence
• Multiple sexual partners
• Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
• Smoking
• Suicide attempts
• Unintended pregnancies
• Early initiation of smoking
• Early initiation of sexual activity
• Adolescent pregnancy

Though this information is reaching almost 20 years since it’s release, the findings are more important than ever. We need to get this study out to the public so we can better understand our own health and lives. Then use this knowledge to create a more safe, stable and nurturing environment for our children of today and tomorrow. Adults who understand the consequences of yelling, physical violence, neglect, etc., are better equipped to raise healthy children and influence other adults to the same techniques.

It is important to remember that when studies like these come out, it is not a damning of our own childhood or our parenting skills. Rather, it is information that can help us better understand the world from our own perspective and the perspective of a child, which can then help us be better adults and child caretakers. Knowledge is power, not our enemy, and our children need this power more than we may even know.

Share this information with your friends and family and help create the type of world we would be proud to leave behind. All it takes is a little knowledge and a little action to makes ripples that will be felt across the world.

Click here to take the ACE Questionnaire.

From Anonymous: MY PERSONAL STORY/TESTIMONY

I grew up in a wonderful/Godly Christian home.  My parents were saved shortly after they were married.  I also grew up in a wonderful Bible-believing and teaching church from the time that I was born until I graduated from high school.  I was saved at age 6.  I also grew up in a Christian school from Christian school until I graduated from high school in 1986.  I then, went away to college.  I graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia where I received my B.S. Degree in Elementary and Middle School Education.
So, everything looked good from all outward appearances.  But, I began being sexually abused by two older male cousins from the time I was age 6 until I was age 14.  I was raped by a teenage boy in my neighborhood on one occasion at approximately 8 years old.  Then, I was sexually assaulted by two teenage boys from my church and school on a church-sponsored AWANA trip to Stone Mountain when I was in the 3rd grade(9 years old).  I was also physically beaten/assaulted by my 1st grade teacher throughout the school year in front of my peers & classmates.
I kept everything that happened to me a secret from everyone in my life.  I believed that I was a very “bad” little girl, and I must have wanted these things to happen to me or I must have “asked” for them to happen.  I believed that I “held the keys” to destroying my family if anyone ever found out.
But, sexual abuse is NEVER the victim’s fault!  It is always the perpetrator’s fault regardless of the situation or circumstances.  No one ever has the right to lay a hand on anyone without their permission…

I also believed that since I “walked” into situations with some of these individuals, knowing what would happen, that I should have “known better” or that I caused it to happen and therefore, my abuse was all my fault.

As a result of my abuse, I suffered tremendous emotional and physical pain.  My pain manifested itself through “boundary issues..”  I tended to push myself on various people(adults) in my life.  And, when they backed away, I felt even more like “worthless/damaged goods.”  I felt like I needed to “prove myself” to others in order for them to like me or love me.  I believed that I needed to “please” the people in my life in order for them to like me, love me or even want me around.  So, when they backed away, I was very confused.

I also had NO self-esteem or self-worth.  And, as a result, I allowed many of my peers and classmates to mock me, bully me and constantly make fun of me.  I didn’t know how to stop it or even how to stand up to them.  So, these behaviors continued to go on for many years.

I began telling myself that God made me ugly, dirty and completely worthless.  And, I also believed that when God made me, that I was the only person He created, on the planet, to feel such extreme internal and emotional pain……”This was my BURDEN-TO-BEAR..”

But, I had no idea how to ever begin to tell anyone what I was feeling.  There just were no words to describe it nor any “language” to explain it.  I believed that I was completely “STUCK..”  I also had no idea that ALL of the pain that I was feeling and the “BAD FEELINGS” that I had about myself was connected to all of my abuse and trauma that I had experienced and endured for so many years.

Many times, survivors turn to drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships and many other types of unhealthy behaviors as a means of “coping” with all of the pain and feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem.  But, my “DRUG OF CHOICE,” was “FOOD..”  I became a “food addict.”  I gained an enormous amount of weight over the years while I was growing up.  This was my way of “numbing” all of the pain that I was feeling.  And, it was also a means of “coping” with the mockery from my peers along with many other stressful situations in my life.  Most of the time, it really did not help, it was only a “temporary high..”

But, when I was a senior in high school, God, in a sense, “Blew the Whistle” in my life….I finally shared my secret with someone that I thought I could trust.  This person was someone that I believed would never tell my secret to anyone, much less, my family.  I did not think that anyone, especially my parents and family would ever believe me if I told or if they found out.  It was never my intention for anyone to ever know my secrets.

But, God knew that I could no longer live with the secrecy, shame, fear, guilt and pain that I had carried and endured for so many years. While I was in college, I began my healing process.  Then, after I graduated from college, I thought that things were much better and that I was healed.  I thought that I could move on to a “new and different” phase of my life.  But, satan was still attacking me and continuing to tell me a lot of lies about myself that he wanted me to believe.  I fell into a very deep and severe depression.  I was thinking more about dying than I was about living.

I checked myself into a psychiatric hospital at this point.  And, while I was there, and in the midst of my confusion, God gave me a wonderful verse….

Deuteronomy 30:19 “I have set before you life and death, blessings and cursings, CHOOSE LIFE…….so you can live!”
I consider this to be my point of surrender and the point where God rescued me…..God’s purpose is not for us to live defeated lives in our dysfunctional behaviors and our “stinkin’ thinking..”  I have had to choose to never allow satan to steal another second of my life or my joy.  I am learning what truly living the “abundant life” really means in my life.  That is His(God’s) ultimate purpose for me and my life here on earth.
As a continuation of my healing process, I have lost 120-lbs!  This has been a huge and very significant part of my healing process as well.  I am so thankful that through it all, and because of God’s healing power, grace, love and mercy in my life, that God has completely transformed my pain into a passion to speak up and speak out, to have a voice and to share my story….I hope to help others whom are suffering through the same circumstances that I have.  I have a passion to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Most of all, I am thankful that I can say that through God’s grace, mercy and healing in my life, that I am healed, whole & free!
Lastly, I was walking one more, listening to my ipod.  I was listening to a song by the Christian group “AVALON..”  There is a phrase in one of their songs that I love, and it says, “Your Life, In Christ, Can be….The greatest story ever told….”

We all have a story to tell about our lives.  We have all experienced pain in some way.  But, when we allow God to reach down inside of us, to the core of our beings, where our pain, wounds and scars reside, and allow God to heal us deep down, our lives, in Christ, really can be…..The Greatest Story Ever Told….

Thank you for letting me share!

Listen to our founder and trustee on the radio!

Check out our new Soundcloud page to hear our founder and trustee, Randa Fox, as she joins various radio programs to talk about her very important work to prevent and end child sexual abuse.

(VIDEO) NOOWAF Learns More About Kids Hope USA in Houston @Their Annual Picnic

Not On Our Watch America Foundation learns more about the Kids Hope USA program here in Houston at Briar Meadows Charter School at their annual Spring picnic. We believe mentoring is a key component to ending the sexual abuse of children and this organization has been doing great work in that realm, and are continuing to expand their impact on the lives of children here in Houston and throughout the US. We talk with Karen McCarver who is the program director at the Briar Meadows branch of Kids Hope and with Principal Peter Heinze. Please help us share this video and information so that the program can increase their impact and more children can receive help. Thank you and remember, together we can end the sexual abuse of our children!

KidsHopeUSA.org

Coast Guard Hearing Focuses On Sexual Abuse Charge Against Cadet

Hearing Officer To Make Recommendation On Pursuing Or Dismissing Charges

8:02 p.m. EDT, April 2, 2014

NEW LONDON — An investigative hearing into allegations that a U.S. Coast Guard cadet sexually abused another cadet at the academy opened Wednesday with testimony from the alleged victim.

The woman described waking in her dorm room to a stranger touching her inner thigh. “I remember someone fumbling with my blanket and touching my leg,” she testified during the hearing at the Coast Guard Academy. “I felt skin to skin contact. I felt a swirling motion of a hand creeping up my leg.”

The woman said she kicked and yelled at the person, a stocky man in a blue polo shirt, who quickly ran out her door. She said she later learned that Cadet First Class Alexander A. Stevens was identified as a suspect in the Sept. 15, 2013, assault.

Stevens is accused of touching the cadet sexually, causing her bodily harm, and unlawful entry, in violation of Articles 120, 130 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Wednesday’s hearing, referred to as an Article 32 investigation, took place before an investigating officer who will determine if there are reasonable grounds to support the charges, said Commander Chris Tribolet, an associate professor of law at the academy.

In the coming weeks, the officer will recommend to Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz, superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, how to proceed with the charges. Stosz can dismiss the case, take administrative action or nonjudicial action, or he can refer the allegations for court-martial, Tribolet said.

In her testimony, the alleged victim said that after the incident, she initially she had trouble sleeping and couldn’t concentrate in class, and that her school work suffered.

“I think he should be kicked out of the Coast Guard. I think he should be a registered sex offender. I think he should go to jail,” she said.

Stevens and the female cadet were in the same company and lived on the same floor at Chase Hall at the time of the incident, but she said she didn’t know him.

Stevens did not testify at the hearing, but his version of what happened was revealed during Wednesday’s testimony.

Chief Robert Cain testified that he had been informed of the sexual assault that weekend, but that a suspect had not been identified until Stevens approached him the Monday after the weekend. Stevens explained to Cain that he had been drinking with his girlfriend in downtown New London on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Read more…

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