Sisterhood Agenda

Are ACEs Putting You At Risk?

Sisterhood Agenda


ACEs and women often go hand-in-hand. Women experience more trauma than men.  These traumas too often mirror the experiences of a childhood fraught with the same.  ACEs are Adverse Childhood Experiences that put all of us at risk, particularly women of color.


Why?  ACEs are traumatic experiences (for example, sexual abuse and domestic violence) that one has experienced before adulthood.  ACEs have a profound impact on self-development and womanhood.  When compared to boys, girls disproportionately experience multiple ACEs-they have more ACEs, more often and at earlier ages.

“An ACE score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks of a rough childhood…  the rougher your childhood, the higher your score.”  NPR


Are you curious and want to know more?  The first step is to find your ACE score.
Create your own user feedback survey

If you are having difficulties, please watch the video below:


This is a test where 10/10 is NOT a good thing.  “Points”=ACES, one point for each “Yes” answer.  A  score of 4 points means that you experienced 4 ACEs.  An ACE score of 4 or higher is considered to be a high ACE score.  A score of 7-10 is extremely high.

High ACE scores can be remarkably predictive in terms of life outcomes:  poor health and disease, emotional issues, depression, abusive relationships,  risky behavior, substance abuse and addiction, eating disorders, even future traumatic events.  All of these are predicted by high ACE scores.

Generally, as your ACE score increases, your risk for disease, social and emotional problems also increases.  Mental, physical, psychological and even spiritual development can be stunted and hindered, putting women at risk through the entire lifespan.


 While it may sound like doom and gloom, unfortunately, yes, it can be.  However, it does not have to be this way.  High ACE scores do not factor in other variables that build resilience.

Resilience is a shield that strengthens holistically.

Focusing on building resilience and healing will be helpful for women who have high ACE scores.



You can take control of your trauma by understanding what it is and how to heal yourself.  When you learn how to recognize trauma and its effect on your life, you can build resilience.  You may already be resilient.  In addition, having caring adults or a best friend can shield you from the pitfalls of abuse and neglect.  Most of all, you can focus on overcoming your past to live a life that is full of present positivity, meaningful connections, love, and purpose.


Take the first step-find your ACE score.  There are only 10 questions and it is pretty straightforward. If your ACE score is high, consider getting professional help in the form of counseling and support groups such as Sister Circles.

With women and ACEs, understand that you may be in denial at first.  You may have a high ACE score and say to yourself, “I am not like other people.  I’m doing just fine.”  Yet, look at your relationships.  Examine your feelings and moods.  Look at the dysfunction that may exist in you, also your family, your children, and your extended family members.

We do not arrive in a place of high ACEs by ourselves.  We were just children when these events occurred to us and around us. Often, we are the product of generations of trauma, neglect, and poor health.  You can break the cycle.  You can be the revolutionary in your family.  You can heal and find peace.

Photo credit:  Kyle Broad, Unnsplash

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  1. I need to know my score for this because I suffer from anxiety and a survivior of sexual abuse domestic violence

    1. Great job getting your score and good question about next steps! What comes next depends on your score and how you are doing in your life. Trauma is unique to each person and different ACEs impact individuals differently. If you have a lot of ACEs, it is suggested that you look at various aspects of your lifestyle, how you feel, and identify resources for your healing and self-development journey. This is a common response to taking the ACE survey. That is why I provide more specific details about this process in my latest book, Life After ACEs. We also offer counseling services.

      National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Call 1-800-273-8255
      National Sexual Assault Hotline, Call 1-800-656-4673
      National Drug Hotline, Call 1-844-289-0879

    1. Finding your ACE score is just one step in the process of healing and recovery. I recommend contacting your health care professional for psychological/psychiatric help, if it is needed. Sister Circles are a positive peer support group and therapeutic tool that can also help you heal. Resources are also listed in our Global Sisterhood Directory and many of these programs and services are free or available on a sliding fee schedule. There are also free hotlines that treat the conditions and symptoms of trauma, including, but not limited to hotlines for suicide, sexual abuse victimization, and addiction.

  2. Outrageous a death sentence is folowed by 20 suggestions to buy something and zero resource numbers, zero public resources or even links to orgs that give free help. Revictimization.
    Does “sisterhood” apply to tortured children who aren’t female? No it does not. Revictimization.

    1. Sisterhood Agenda’s entire site is a vast resource and we encourage you to explore it. ACEs are not a death sentence because healing is always possible. Sisterhood Agenda resources that are both free and for sale. These resources are applicable and useful for everyone, all genders and nationalities. We have a Global Sisterhood Directory for resources available in your geographic area and a Men & Sisterhood initiative.

      Many people find our articles very useful. Currently there is no hotline for ACEs (this is good idea, though). The hotlines that do exist can be very helpful in treating the symptoms of trauma that make you feel bad. However, trauma experiences and healing from ACEs is an individual journey that is unique for each person.

      Sisterhood Agenda focuses on women and girls. As you may know, girls are disproportionately affected by ACEs, such as sexual abuse and assault. Sisterhood Agenda educates, supports, and empowers our diverse sisterhood. Therefore, our approach to ACEs is gender-specific and culturally relevant. Traumatic girlhood experiences are very important to us; we strive to prevent them and help women and girls heal.

      Rather than revictimize anyone, we strengthen, fortify, and build resilience by offering resources for holistic healing. I think you may be referring to “triggering.” Triggering can occur when something you see, hear, read, or experience causes to you unwillingly recall an unresolved trauma, often a very unpleasant experience. Triggering can be overwhelming, as described in this article.

      We hope that this was helpful in finding the help that you are looking for. Here are some hotlines:
      National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Call 1-800-273-8255
      National Sexual Assault Hotline, Call 1-800-656-4673
      National Drug Hotline, Call 1-844-289-0879

  3. I need help healing I really do its affecting me and my family and my relationship and my friends I dont know who I am nomore

    1. Hi, thank you for reaching out. Please our contact form for the fastest response.

      It sounds like you could benefit from our counseling and mentoring support services.

      Also, have you read Life After ACES: Overcoming Girlhood Trauma? It’s a great resource for how to get your life together after you realize your girlhood trauma and its impact on your life as an adult woman. And it is available as a downloadable Ebook, too. We hope to hear from you soon!

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