Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events occurring before age 18. ACEs include all types of abuse and neglect as well as parental mental illness, substance use, divorce, incarceration, and domestic violence. A landmark study in the 1990s found a significant relationship between the number of ACEs a person experienced and a variety of negative outcomes in adulthood, including poor physical and mental health, substance abuse, and risky behaviors. The more ACEs experienced, the greater the risk for these outcomes.
Why are some children permanently damaged by early adversity while others are able to thrive?To help answer this question, filmmaker Roger Weisberg dug into his extensive film archives to update a few of the stories of the abused and neglected children he filmed decades ago. Viewers are given a unique time-lapse perspective on how the trauma that these children experienced shaped their lives as adults. “Broken Places” interweaves these longitudinal narratives with commentary from a few nationally renowned experts in neurobiology and early childhood development in order to illuminate the devastating impact of childhood adversity as well as the factors that can foster resilience.