Unheard: The Epidemic of Severe Childhood Trauma Among Girls Tried as Adults

This groundbreaking report is based on a first-of-its-kind survey that examined the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and severe childhood trauma among women who were tried and convicted as adults for crimes they committed as children. The report highlights how child sexual (84%), physical (84%), and emotional abuse (92%) are ubiquitous among girls who are tried in the adult criminal justice system, where their victimization is largely ignored. Most of the women surveyed in the report came from broken homes where parental separation, household incarceration, domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental illness were the norm.

The report provides details as to the correlation between these girls’ childhood trauma and later involvement in the criminal justice system. It also provides proposals for how to disrupt the trauma-to-prison pipeline and create a system of accountability for these girls in a trauma-informed and age-appropriate way.

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