• Brian Padden

Politicians and ACEs

We exist as a non-political organisation, with no allegiance to any political persuasion, party or person. Our mission is to raise awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences.

It is always great to see and hear politicians getting involved in the discussion around ACEs,

They are elected into power to change things for the better, they have a platform and a duty to be heard. However, as with most topics which find themselves in the political agenda there is a risk that they get hijacked for point scoring - and so the possibility for positive change in inhibited.

It seems that before any politician debates a subject they ask themselves several questions - Can it help me? Can it harm me? Can it help the opposition? How can I use this?

John Swinney addressed the SNP conference this week and spoke passionately about the damaging impact ACEs have on society. He did this whilst attacking The Tory Party. This undermines the global problem that was discovered by Felitti in the late 1980's and has been the subject of dozens of worldwide reports since - all concluding with the same thoughts ACEs are not linked to poverty, race, educational status or political system. Dr Nadine Harris Burke has re-iterated the words of Dr Robert Andra and Dr Vincent Felitti in her brilliant book 'The Deepest Well' saying that ACEs happen in all societies, when we class it as a race problem, a deprivation problem, an uneducated problem it is not a global problem.

In fact no study into ACEs has ever even hinted that it is the cause of a political left wing or right wing idealism.

Politicians who seek to point score for their own personal gain through claiming credit or apportioning blame (on any topic) seem not to really understand the whole area of ACEs studies. But way more dangerous than not understanding it, they are promoting it as as a failings of an opposing political party.

Marc Bellis, Shantra Dube, Dr Robert Andra, Valerie Edwards, Michael Baxter,Deborah OH,Beth Brodsky and many, many other have all published work on ACEs. They can all genuinely claim to be world experts on Adverse Childhood Experiences, yet, not one of them have ever blamed The Labour Party, LIberal Democrats, Republicans, Democrats, SNP or a political party.

We all want to see politicians from all sides get to grips with the problems being caused by ACEs, but we demand to see ACTION - NOT BLAME.

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