FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2018
House Urges a Coordinated, Statewide Response to Adverse Childhood Experiences in Alaska
HCR 2 Acknowledges the Negative Social and Economic Impacts of Childhood Trauma and Calls for the Creation of a New Statewide Policy
Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska House of Representatives passed a resolution acknowledging the negative impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and pledging to consider the concepts of early adversity, toxic stress, and childhood trauma in future policy decisions. House Concurrent Resolution 2 encourages the Governor to work with the Alaska Legislature to create a new statewide policy and to identify funding for new ACEs research.
“The evidence is clear and overwhelming that Adverse Childhood Experiences impact people throughout their entire lives with a clear linkage to increased rates of depression, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and intimate partner violence,” said HCR 2 sponsor Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). “If we adopt an all-hands-on-deck commitment to early intervention policies, we can nurture and educate children instead of spending billions in prison and health care costs for adults.”
The initial ACESs research dates to 1998 when over 17,000 Americans were given a 10-question study to evaluate childhood traumatic experiences concerning abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. The limited ACESs research in Alaska found that childhood trauma is far more prevalent than expected and this trauma impacts Alaskans over the course of their lifetime. The research indicates that 67 percent of Alaska’s children have an ACESs score.
“In learning about Adverse Childhood Experiences, I am reminded of the adage that prevention is the best cure. No one wants to see children abused, neglected, or traumatized but as policymakers, it would be irresponsible just to pretend it does not happen,” said HCR 2 co-sponsor Rep. Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage). “This resolution puts the Alaska House of Representatives on record as acknowledging that harm to children has negative impacts and expressing our commitment to doing the hard work, in conjunction with the Governor, to come up with effective and cost-effective solutions.”
House Concurrent Resolution 2 passed the Alaska House of Representatives tonight by a vote of 28-8. The resolution will now be sent to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Deputy Press Secretary Drew Cason at (907) 465-6791.