West Lothian charity launches campaign to help break cycle of child abuse and neglect | #childabuse | #children | #kids

A West Lothian charity ambassador is urging people in the area to dig deep to help break the devastating cycle of child abuse and neglect.

Eddie Millar is promoting the work of the WAVE Trust’s 70/30 campaign which is dedicated to reducing child maltreatment, abuse and neglect by 70 per cent by the year 2030.

The ambassador network is trying to raise money to help with this campaign and has organised Giving Tuesday next week, where anyone can donate to the cause or sign up to become ambassadors themselves.

The charity’s goal is to prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACE) which cause a vicious cycle of abuse and neglect as youngsters themselves can often grow up to become abusers.

It says current systems do not prevent problems. But instead, prevention means understanding and addressing the root causes and those root causes are most often adverse childhood experiences.

The WAVE trust points out that people with four or more ACEs are twice as likely to develop liver disease, while ACEs mean a much higher risk for many issues.

But the charity stresses that living through traumatic experiences as a child aren’t deterministic. With the right protective factors and with resilience people can live a good life.

Eddie, from Livingston, said he became involved after hearing about the charity’s vital work from fellow ambassador, Jay Haston, who lives in Polbeth.

Jay is using his own adverse childhood experiences and mental health battle to inform people of the significant public health risk unmanaged childhood trauma poses.

Eddie, who also organises the annual West Lothian Children’s Taxi Day Out, explained: “When I heard how passionate Jay was about this, I knew this was something I really wanted to get involved with.

“Giving Tuesday is all about trying to fund the ambassadors and get counsellors to do more work in prevention, because prevention is always better than cure and what we’re trying to do is break that cycle.

“A lot of people who have been abused become abusers themselves and a lot of them turn to alcohol and drugs and suicide is a big problem too and I really think we have to try and stop this from happening.”

Eddie said he is also pressing West Lothian Council to get involved as other councils – including West Dumbartonshire and Edinburgh – have passed motions supporting the Wave Trust. He said there are five ways to help the cause.

You can become a 70/30 ambassador and can also join Hearts of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences), which is the national council of lived experience, you can donate, spread awareness of ACE’s and trauma-informed practice and spread the news about Giving Tuesday with family, friends, colleagues and on social media.

For more information and to become an ambassador visit www.wavetrust.org/7030 and to donate visit https://www.wavetrust.org/donate/support-the-7030-initiative/

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