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Ohio House passes HB 428 to establish Adverse Childhood Experiences study commission, off to Senate

Posted at 10:42 AM, Jan 27, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACEs, are traumatic events that can have a lasting or negative impact on a child.

According to the CDC, roughly 60% of adults surveyed across 25 states reported having experienced at least one type of ACE. And nearly 1 in 6 reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs.

Some examples include: living with someone who has an alcohol or a drug problem, emotional, physical or sexual abuse and neglect.

It's a pervasive problem across the nation and in Ohio.

"That's not a statistic that Ohio can be proud of," said State Rep. Gail Paviliga. "So, that's what our commission is going to find out. Why are we so low in addressing this and why are our statistics so high?"

On Wednesday, the Ohio House passed bill 428, called Establish Adverse Childhood Experiences Study Commission.

Paviliga is currently serving her first term at the Ohio House of Representatives. She represents the state's 75th House District, which includes portions of Portage County. She said if the measure is passed by the Ohio Senate, a committee will then begin compiling data about Ohio's children and their experiences with ACEs.

"We'll have an organizational meeting quarterly of the different specified people who have been assigned to this committee. Those who deal with incarceration, mental health, schools and the experts that we feel we need to gather the data," she said. That data will then be compiled into a report that will be given annually in the form of a written report."

So then professionals can begin to attack the issue and ultimately prevent ACEs from happening.

"We want people to be happy. When one is faced with much trauma, mental illness and other things that have happened... it's a loss to all of us, but especially that individual," Pavliga said. "We want a good quality of life for everyone. And that equates to a better Ohio."

Paviliga anticipates the Ohio Senate to pass the bill and the commission can begin their work later this year.