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Kentucky’s children have experienced--on average-- more Adverse Childhood Experiences than children nationwide.

An Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACE, can be the death or incarceration of a parent, witnessing or being a victim of violence, or living with someone who has a drug or alcohol problem.

 

According to a recent report from The National Survey of Children’s Health, about 53 percent of children in Kentucky have had at least one ACE. That’s significantly higher than the national rate of about 46 percent. The report adds those experiences can increase the risk of smoking, alcoholism, depression and other illnesses or unhealthy behaviors.

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At 14, Donna Pollard’s anger and outbursts landed her in a youth behavioral facility in Southern Indiana.

There, she met a 29-year-old man who counseled troubled teens. He would brush up against her and smile.

“I was a 14-year-old with a crush,” Pollard said.