Teen Moms Anonymous

Breaking the Cycle of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

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Teen Moms Anonymous

Who We Are

We are a support group and recovery program for teen moms who are trauma survivors. This incudes both teen girls 15-19 who are currently pregnant and parenting and adult women who were teen moms. Trauma survivors are those who endured high doses of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

Our Mission 

Our mission is to help teen moms who are trauma survivors. 

  • Heal and recover from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and
  • Prevent ACEs with their children.

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

ACEs are experiences that occur in the first 18 years of your life. These experiences are divided into three primary categories with subcategories, and they include:  

  • Abuse - emotional, physical, sexual
  • Neglect - emotional, physical and
  • Household Challenges
    • Mother treated violently
    • Substance abuse in the household
    • Mental illness in the household
    • Parental separation or divorce
    • Incarcerated household member

The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) has found that having these kinds of traumatic events happen in your childhood can have a lasting effect on your physical and mental health. For example, a person with an ACEs score of 4 or higher is 2x more likely to develop depression and 3x more likely to develop anxiety disorders. 

ACEs are Prevalent in the Lives of Teen Moms

Research by The Healthy Teen Network in a report on Interpersonal Violence and Adolescent Pregnancy notes the prevalence of ACEs in the lives of teen moms. Teen moms are often the victims of violence and abuse and that there is a strong connection between violence, abuse, and teen pregnancy. For example,

  1. Many (as many as two-thirds) of young women who become pregnant as teens were sexually and/or physically abused at some point in their lives–either as children, in their current relationship, or both. This includes only the ones reported. The numbers could be even higher. 
  2. A substantial number (no fewer than one-fourth and as many as 50-80%) of teen moms are in violent, abusive, or coercive relationships just before, during, or after their teen pregnancy.

The Healthy Teen Network further notes children of teen moms are "at a high risk for difficulties stemming from the pervasiveness of violence and abuse in their parents' lives. . . their parents' ability to provide for them can be compromised by education or employment sabotage (where the controlling partner limits a parent's ability to go to school, look for work or keep a job) and/or by substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of trauma, violence, and abuse."

Finally, evidence supports that parents need to heal from their own Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in order to support the healthy emotional development of their children:

"In addition, there is increasing evidence that parents need to heal from their own violent experiences in order to support the healthy emotional development of their children. Without healing, it can be challenging for parents to attach, offer consistently nurturing interactions and respond appropriately to their children’s needs and demands. In terms of risk, it is tough to be a child of an abuse survivor, even an aware and recovering one. It is not easy to be the child of an adolescent who is likely to be struggling to complete his or her own education, earn an income, and manage a family. Evidence suggests that it may be especially difficult to be both."

— The Healthy Teen Network, Interpersonal Violence and Adolescent Pregnancy

Healing From Trauma  

Teen moms (and adult women who were teen moms) can begin healing from trauma (ACEs) by taking the 10-question ACEs quiz. The ACEs quiz lets you know how much trauma you were exposed to as a child. When you take the quiz, you answer yes or no to each question. Questions relate to the three categories mentioned above: Abuse, Neglect, and Household Challenges.

Each yes counts as a 1. At the end of the quiz, your 1s are tallied up and that is your ACEs score. The higher your score, the more childhood trauma (ACEs) you were exposed to, and that trauma has a direct impact on your physical and mental health. Knowing your ACEs score and then attending one of our support group meetings is a great place to begin unpacking that trauma. You can take the ACEs quiz right now.

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