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!

__________________________________________________________

 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!

____________________________________________________________________

 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.

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.

__________________________________

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.

 

 

Startling Statistics from NO MORE

Hello Wellness Seekers:

I received this email today from an organization called, NO MORE: Together We Can End Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault. If you’re not on their mailing list, I want to make sure you know the startling statistics of rising abuse in our pandemic world.

STOP CHILD AND DOMESTIC ABUSE NOW!

 

Friend,

Today at a special virtual convening, NO MORE proudly joined with the Commonwealth Secretariat to launch a timely new “Commonwealth Says NO MORE” initiative. The effort is aimed at helping the 54 Commonwealth of Nations member countries address and prevent violence against women and girls.

The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have dramatically increased incidents of abuse around the world, with calls to domestic violence helplines rising by up to 300% and abuse-related killings higher than normal. It is now estimated that COVID-19 is likely to cause a one-third reduction in progress towards ending gender-based violence by 2030.

The Commonwealth of Nations makes up nearly one-third of the world’s population. Together—with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the government ministers, high commissioners, business leaders, women’s advocates and celebrities who attended today’s convening and who are lending their voices to the Commonwealth Says NO MORE effort—we can help provide support needed now for victims of abuse and engage billions in efforts to stop domestic and sexual violence once and for all.

Therefore, the new Commonwealth Says NO MORE effort is critical, not only to respond to the immediate crisis but also to create longer-term solutions to prevent domestic and sexual violence. As a vital first step, today we unveiled the first-ever pan-Commonwealth digital portal, which offers countries and civil society organizations easy-to-use tools and resources to boost their efforts in helping victims and those at risk, and educating communities.

The portal also provides victims with access to critical information, including local helplines, shelters, safety guidance, and legal aid—a service particularly important in communities where the pandemic has disrupted such support.

Please, check out the new portal and take the pledge to join us. Thank you very much!

LEARN MORE

Pamela Zaballa
NO MORE Global Executive Director

_____________________________

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 Illness, click here, or her newly published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.

Start Healing from Trauma — TODAY!

Dear Wellness Seekers:

You can’t heal from trauma until you’re ready to truly live. I know this by experience with so many illnesses and traumas in my life. At the age of 50, I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and given a six percent chance of survival. No one gave me this news at the time, but I learned it when I was cancer-free. Was I shocked? Absolutely, especially since I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer three years later.

Many people have asked how I survived. To answer their questions, I wrote a book titled, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, and created a self-survival program called T.R.U.T.H. (The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing). Both of these projects list over 100 ways you can expand and intensify your healing from trauma.

Here are some tools I recommend:

  • Never ever give up no matter how bad things are going.
  • Be truthful to yourself as to why you are ill or traumatized. We all play a part in our illnesses and traumas.
  • Find meaningful ways to forgive yourself for the trauma you experienced. Remember the golden rule: You are not responsible and did not cause your trauma!
  • Seek professional support for medical issues and emotional distress.
  • Never call yourself bad, stupid, or ignorant because you aren’t. Start calling yourself beautiful, lovely, and amazing.
  • Lower your stress level by listening to music, yoga, or painting.
  • Learn to love yourself for who you are.
  • Be authentic with your feelings.
  • Realize that anger is natural and healthy, hiding it causes medical and psychological issues.
  • Talk to someone about your fears, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When you work on these tools you’ll start to understand that you can beat fear, resolve past trauma, and live the life you’ve always wanted. I know from experience that life is so much more satisfying when you shred the trauma and put your energy into creating the life you want. “Impossible” you say. No, not at all. When you focus on balancing your mind, body, and spirit you can do miraculous things like find joy, strengthen your immune system, and energize your life.

I did! And now I’m living the life I’ve always wanted. You can too! Use the tools found in Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, and T.R.U.T.H. Program. Both are available on the Healing Tools page.

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

_______________________

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.