Each year in the United States approximately five million children experience some form of traumatic experience. More than two million of these are victims of physical or sexual abuse. Millions more are living in the terrorizing atmosphere of domestic violence. Natural disasters, car accidents, life-threatening medical conditions, painful procedures, exposure to community violence—all can have traumatic impact on the child. By the time a child reaches the age of eighteen, the probability that any child will have been touched directly by interpersonal or community violence is approximately one in four. Traumatic experiences can have a devastating impact on the child, altering their physical, emotional, cognitive and social development. In turn, the impact on the child has profound implications for their family, community and, ultimately, us all.
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