The Stop Abuse Campaign: Using Cutting-Edge Research to Protect Children from Adverse Childhood Experiences
By Andrew Willis, See the Triumph Guest Blogger
The Stop Abuse Campaign is a non-profit corporation that uses cutting edge research to protect children from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The ACE Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were originally directed at medical professionals for diagnosing and treating adults impacted by childhood trauma. We agree with Dr. Vincent Felitti, the lead author of the original ACE study, that the most important use of this research is prevention.
The ACE study shows that 67% of American children experience at least one trauma so severe it will permanently impact their health and measurably shorten their lifespan. An environmental toxin that affected a fraction of that population would be banned immediately.
The Stop Abuse Campaign is the leading proponent of The Quincy Solution, which uses proven practices that slash domestic violence crime, especially murders. Specifically, the response includes strict enforcement of criminal laws, orders of protection, and probation conditions. The community creates approaches making it easier for women to leave their abusers, and a coordinated community response is adopted. Barry Goldstein has updated the successful practices to create the Quincy Solution by including new research and technologies like GPS.
Domestic violence is involved in about half of all child abuse cases. That means we need to rely on other proven tools and policies to protect the rest of our children from ACEs. Most maternal child abuse and maltreatment stems from a failure to bond properly. Sadly, bonding is usually impeded by the mother’s own history of abuse, and its consequences such as mental illness, social isolation, poverty, and drug use. It’s easy to predict which new mothers will struggle with bonding and parenthood, and when offered help to become a better mother, they usually accept it. This is what home visiting programs do, and they have fantastic track records.
Stop Abuse Campaign is proud of what we have already accomplished with volunteers and limited contributions. We launched a campaign for implementation of the Quincy Solution and joined the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) in creating a coalition for this. We have responded to a series of child murders in Erie County, New York by developing a plan using The Quincy Solution, home visiting and adult Child Sexual Abuse education to protect children and slash CPS caseloads. In Erie County, we have received support from the County Executive’s office, the local domestic violence and child welfare community, obtained media attention, and are working to gain additional support and funding in order to start full implementation. We have convinced one county to invest more in prevention strategies in one year than the entire state of New York has invested in the last five. Stop Abuse Campaign responded to the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases by partnering with Pro Player Insiders to broadcast radio programs that include former NFL players, players association officials, domestic violence experts, and child abuse advocates.
We also are among the most visible organizations advocating for ACE prevention and reduction on the federal and state level. Federally, we are advocating for money for The Quincy Solution demonstration grants, and for an investigation of federal funding for misogynistic “father’s rights” organizations. On a state level, we lobby for elimination of Statutes of Limitations for child sexual abuse, for the Safe Child Act, which makes the health and safety of children the top priority of all custody decisions, and more money for evidence-based maternal home visiting.
All of this was accomplished with a dedicated team of volunteers and limited budget. We need funds to continue the campaign, but if we can expand our funding and work with partners to raise as little as one million dollars, we can literally change the world.
Fifty years ago, the US Surgeon General issued a report linking smoking and cancer. It was depressing to learn that so many people got sick and died because of our tolerance and encouragement of smoking. But by passing laws, advertising, educating, helping people stop smoking and discourage children from starting, there was a significant reduction in smoking. Thousands of people are living longer, healthier lives. Health costs were reduced.
The ACE Study provides a similar opportunity on a larger scale. Stop Abuse Campaign is using proven methods of ACE prevention to transform society in the most wonderful way.
Andrew Willis is CEO and Co-Founder of the Stop Abuse Campaign. He was born in Hong Kong went to school in Great Britain and has not stopped traveling ever since. Following time in the British Army, where he reached the rank of Captain, he has spent his life practicing integrated marketing communications and marketing, mostly for global brands.
Andrew has worked in senior leadership positions for McCann Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather, IBM and Publicis and has been responsible for accounts that include IBM, American Express, HP, Citi and the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
He has been recognized with both creative and marketing effectiveness awards and has been a frequent speaker at conferences.
A survivor of both child sexual abuse and domestic violence, Andrew has dedicated the second half of his life to ending abuse and alleviating the suffering of those involved.