Preventing Abusive Head Trauma

Dear Wellness Seekers:

Since it is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I am relaying a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) article I received from Juliet at D’Amore Mental Health. The following information is instrumental in preventing childhood brain damage.

What is Abusive Head Trauma?

Abusive head trauma (AHT), which includes shaken baby syndrome, is a preventable and severe form of physical child abuse that results in an injury to the brain of a child. AHT often happens when a parent or caregiver becomes angry or frustrated because of a child’s crying. It is caused by violent shaking and/or with blunt impact. The resulting injury can cause bleeding around the brain or on the inside back layer of the eyes. Data shows:

  • AHT is a leading cause of physical child abuse deaths in children under 5 in the United States.
  • Babies less than one-year-old are at the greatest risk of injury from AHT.
  • AHT accounts for about one-third of all child maltreatment deaths.

Crying, including long periods of inconsolable crying, is a normal behavior in infants. Shaking, throwing, or hitting a baby is never the right response to crying. For more information about abusive head trauma definitions please see Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma: Recommended Definitions for Public Health Surveillance and Researchpdf icon[1.6 MB, 56 Pages, 508].

What are the consequences?

Nearly all victims of AHT suffer serious, long-term health consequences. Examples include:

  • vision problems
  • developmental delays
  • physical disabilities
  • hearing loss

At least one of every four babies who experience AHT dies from this form of child abuse.

How can we prevent Abusive Head Trauma?

 Anyone can play a role in preventing AHT. Understanding the dangers of shaking or hitting a baby’s head against something, knowing the risk factors and the triggers for abuse, and finding ways to support parents and caregivers in their community are all ways to prevent AHT. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a resource, Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities.pdf icon[3.90 MB, 52 Pages, 508] that identifies a number of strategies to help states and communities prioritize prevention activities based on the best available evidence. This resource is also available in Spanish.pdf [21 MB, 52 Pages, 508].

  • Understand that infant crying is worse in the first few months of life, but it will get better as the child grows.
  • Try calming a crying baby by rocking gently, swaddling in a blanket, offering a pacifier, holding your baby against your bare skin, singing or talking softly, taking a walk with a stroller, or going for a drive in the car.
  • If the baby won’t stop crying, check for signs of illness and call the doctor if you think the child is sick.
  • If you are getting upset, focus on calming yourself down. Put the baby in a safe place and walk away to calm down, checking on the baby every 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Call a friend, relative, neighbor, parent helplineexternal, or your child’s healthcare provider for support.
  • Never leave your baby with a person who is easily irritated, has a temper, or a history of violence.

If you are a friend, family member, or observer of a parent or caregiver

  • Be aware of new parents in your family and community who may need help or support.
  • Offer to give a parent or caregiver a break when needed.
  • Let the parent know that dealing with a crying baby can be very frustrating, but infant crying is normal and it will get better.
  • Encourage parents and caregivers to take a calming break if needed while the baby is safe in the crib.
  • Be sensitive and supportive in situations when parents are dealing with a crying baby.
  • Be supportive of work policies (e.g., paid family leave) that make it easier for working parents to stay with their infants during the period of increased infant crying (i.e., between 4-20 weeks of age).

See Child Abuse and Neglect Resources for more resources about preventing abusive head trauma.

Thanks Juliet, for this great article!

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 Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way numerous times. She survived and now shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her tools for healing trauma book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, click here. If you would like to read her 2020 published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.

“Forbidden?”

Dear Wellness Seekers:

I apologize for my website being down for 10 days. Seems I reached my space limit and, as you are probably aware, my site grew slower and slower. Well, that’s all been fixed as this site now has more space and power! I’m not sure what the “Forbidden” message was, but this site has never been forbidden nor was it hacked. I apologize for the worry this page caused. Thanks for sticking with me as I tore my hair out trying to get this fixed.

Did you know that the month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month? That means you’ll be seeing more information about how to stop and prevent the growing number of child abuse cases. I need your help to make sure the public knows and understands what child abuse is and how it harms our children. Adults who were abused as children are needed to tell their stories and start a chain-reaction to prevent this from happening.

Child abuse is a pandemic filled with threats, injuries, and lies. The following ghastly statistics are from the American Society for the Positive Care of Children (American SPCC) and include:

  • For all [other] types of abuse and neglect, statistics are about equal for boys and girls.
  • Although children of all ages experience abuse and neglect, it is the youngest children that are the most vulnerable; 7 per 1,000 children are victims of child abuse and neglect in their first year of life.
  • Annual estimate: 1,770 children died from abuse and neglect in 2018.
  • Almost five children die every day from child abuse.
  • 6 percent of all child fatalities were younger than 3 years old.
  • 3 percent of child fatalities involve at least one parent.
  • Estimated that between 50-60 percent of maltreatment fatalities are not recorded on death certificates.
  • Child abuse crosses all socioeconomic and educational levels, religions, ethnic and cultural groups.
  • 14 percent of all men in prison and 36 percent of women in prison in the USA were abused as children, about twice the frequency seen in the general population.
  • It is estimated, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) that there are over 42 million adult survivors of child abuse in the U.S.
  • There are so many more heart-breaking statistics…

As a child sexual abuse survivor I find these statistics to be appalling. One of the most revolting part of all is that child sexual and physical abuse continues throughout our planet (and perhaps the universe). If we don’t stop child abuse now it will only grow into a more devastating event. Do children deserve this? NO! Do you deserve to be healed? YES!

I’m working on a new book titled, Your Moment of T.R.U.T.H.: The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing. It is a companion book to my T.R.U.T.H. Program Workbook, created to bring more information and tools to resolve trauma. I’ll let you know when it’s published.

During the month of April, will you do one thing to help me spread the word that child and domestic abuse are not okay? You can let your friends know about my website and have them register for new posts and tools. Thank you!

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 Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way numerous times. She survived and now shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her tools for healing trauma book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, click here. If you would like to read her 2020 published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.

Thank You Wellness Seekers!

Since the New Year, I’ve seen an enormous growth of seekers who are signing up for my website. Currently, I have 13,470 seekers and growing. Please know that you’re making my dreams come true – getting my website out to as many people as I can, and providing interesting information on how to survive trauma.

My www.nevergiveupinstitute.org website is the best way I can share my stories, tools, and blogs that focus on TRAUMA (including but not limited to) and child abuse.

Now, I want to increase my social media activities with speaking engagements and interviews. I realize that my story is filled with abuse and the connection between stress and illness, however, I want to share my healing tools with all the people who have unresolved trauma issues. The ill effects of trauma can last a lifetime and result in all major health issues. That’s my story!

With the COVID-19 vaccine this spring, I’d like to get out into our world and help trauma survivors thrive. Once more people are vaccinated I can meet personally with trauma sufferers. I believe social media is needed to find people who are harmed and hurting from painful experiences.

Will you help me by sharing my website URL to others who may benefit from my writings? I’ve tried to increase the awareness of trauma and abuse for years now, but I’m not getting the exposure I’d like. Trauma is not easy to heal, but with my T.R.U.T.H. (The Road to Unresolved Trauma) program workbook, you’ll be able to see what trauma has done to you, and how you can heal.

I am currently writing another nonfiction book, entitled The Myths & Truths of Trauma. This book will accompany my T.R.U.T.H. workbook and make healing more understandable.

Please help me get the word out by encouraging others to follow my website.

Thanks a million,

Alex

P.S. I can also be reached through my email: alexisackerhalbur@gmail.com.

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her tools for healing trauma book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, click here. If you would like to read her 2020 published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.

A New Year Filled with Insurrection

Dear Wellness seekers:

Our new year herald in an unconscionable event in U.S. history. On January 6, 2021, a coup to destroy democracy, an attempt by insurgents who believe that Donald Trump is the next Messiah, tried to take our freedom away. I watched in disbelief as a mob broke into the nation’s capitol building trying to take power into their own hands. The word “insurrection” filled the airways. I learned that insurrection is “an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence.” [Source: Cambridge Dictionary]

Before our unbelieving eyes, we saw the stark reality of madness, incited by a mad man who wants to be a dictator. As a United States citizen, I watched hatred and violence erupt in our nation’s capitol building by gun-wielding insurgents. I never dreamed something like this could happen in our democracy, yet it did and I am ashamed and angry.

What were our Republican congressional individuals thinking? First, they marched behind a president who had no regard for our constitution, followed by a senate who would not impeach him, and finally believed in his lies and conspiracy theories. I know now how Putin, Stalin, and Mussolini came to power – they were backed by people who lost sight of a free country and wanted to become powerful, too.

“Enough is enough” became our battle cry in this appalling event.

Why is the capitol building so important to all citizens? The United States Capitol, is the meeting place of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It stands today as a monument to the American people and our government. To physically attack this monument with violence is a crime. Trump committed this crime by calling his followers to the Capitol to protest a presidential election that was deemed honorable and fair. His accusations were false and could not be proven.

Go away, Trump, and leave our democracy and freedom alone.

By the way. . . have a happy new year!

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her tools for healing trauma book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, click here. If you would like to read her 2020 published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.

A New Tool to Help You Heal From Abuse/Trauma

Dear Wellness Seekers:

I’d like to share with you a new tool I’ve created to help you understand and heal from abuse/trauma. All you have to do is click on this link and read the two charts Tools to Help You Heal.

The first chart reflects the negative effects that make you sick. Scroll down to the next chart to find the positive tools to help you heal.

You’ll be amazed to see how abuse/trauma can affect your mind, body, and spirit. Healing from abuse and trauma may seem daunting, but this chart can help you see the negative side of trauma and the positive side of healing.

Abuse and trauma can be healed and you can also begin healing by reading these charts and purchasing my T.R.U.T.H. workbook for just $25.00. (Special  50% discount.) You’ll  find new ways to heal.

T.R.U.T.H. Manual Now Available

T.R.U.T.H. Program — 2nd Edition

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus, T.R.U.T.H. Program groups will not be held until it is safe to gather. In the meantime, if you’d like to purchase this workbook, you can do so by contacting me at alexisackerhalbur@gmail.com. The cost of the manual and information packet is $25.00 plus shipping.

T.R.U.T.H. Program is an 8-week self-study and/or group program designed to help trauma survivors heal from past trauma, and to strengthen your mind, body, and spirit before illness takes hold. Through weeks of guided educational and informational techniques, you will learn how trauma has affected your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. T.R.U.T.H. Program is not therapy but a self-study opportunity to learn more about trauma and how you can resolve issues. T.R.U.T.H. Program is also not affiliated with any religion.

What does T.R.U.T.H. stand for?

The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing. This program puts you at the center of truth.

What topics does T.R.U.T.H. cover?

Program Introduction
Why the Use of a Mandala
Week One:     Creating a Safe & Healing Environment
Week Two:     How Stress & Trauma Affect Your Health
Week Three:  Facing Our Fears
Week Four:    Healing the Mind
Week Five:     Healing the Body
Week Six:       Healing the Spirit
Week Seven:  Showing Self-Compassion
Week Eight:   Creating Your New Life Plan

What type of activities are included?

T.R.U.T.H. includes group discussions, writing exercises, guided imagery, meditations, questions and answers, trauma facts, pre- and post- self-assessments, and peer support.

Who facilitates T.R.U.T.H. Program

T.R.U.T.H. program is facilitated by Alexis Acker-Halbur and psychologist Johanna Lamm, PsyD.

Get you T.R.U.T.H. workbook today and never give up.

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Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illnessclick here, or her newly published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.