Teen Moms Anonymous
Who We Are
We are a community-based support group program for teen moms who are trauma survivors. We are a safe place in the community where teen moms can gather with their peers, find emotional and moral support, and begin their journey of healing.
Our mission is to help teen moms who are trauma survivors heal from their trauma, so that they can attach and support the healthy emotional development of their children. Specifically, our goal is to help teen moms:
- Heal from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and
- Prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) with their children.
We focus heavily on education as a means of healing from trauma. Knowledge is access to change.
Participation is open to both teen girls 15-19 who are currently pregnant and parenting (with written consent from a parent or guardian) and adult women who were teen moms and are still living with unresolved trauma.
We are a Christ-centered organization but not affiliated with a particular church or denomination. It is ok if you did not grow up in the church; It is ok if you have turned away from the church. You are welcome.
Our vision is to be a world-wide, community-based support group program for teen moms who are trauma survivors.
1-2 Year: Host (2) support group classes each year. Hire an Executive Director (a member) to run the day-to-day operations of Teen Moms Anonymous. Secure a brick and mortar.
3-Year: Develop an evidence-based curriculum and training module.
5-Year: Offer community-based support group meetings all over the world, using our curriculum and training module.
How to Get Involved
There are two ways to get involved.
- You can register for one of our support group classes. Classes meet once a week. Click here to learn how to register for one of our Meetings.
- We are a new ministry, and we are grateful for those who support our work. If you believe in our cause and want to come alongside us, partner with us to serve teen moms, your contributions will help us reach our 1-2 year, 3-year, and 5-year goals. Donate Now.
These are two ways to get involved.
Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are events that occur in the first 18 years of your life. ACEs are divided into three primary categories with subcategories, and they include:
- Abuse - emotional, physical, sexual
- Neglect - emotional, physical and
- 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 impact on your physical and mental health. 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
While each teen mom has her individual story, teen moms collectively have a tale of violence and abuse (ACEs). Research by The Healthy Teen Network in a report on Interpersonal Violence and Adolescent Pregnancy notes there is a strong connection between violence, abuse, and teen pregnancy. They are all intertwined and violence and abuse lead directly or indirectly to teen pregnancy. For example,
- 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 higher.
- 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.
- This violence and abuse lead directly or indirectly to their teen pregnancy. Directly via sexual abuse, incest, or birth control sabotage. Indirectly because the emotional and psychological damage of that prior abuse makes them especially vulnerable to coercive and violence partners when they leave home. They may be depressed and self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. All of these circumstances and conditions put them at a high risk of a teen pregnancy.
Impact on Children of Teen Moms
The report, Interpersonal Violence and Adolescent Pregnancy, 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. They are at direct risk if they continue to be raised in abusive and violent settings or if their parents continue to form unhealthy partnerships and/or have few safe living alternatives (a serious problem for adolescents with children).
Their parents' ability to provide for them can be compromised by education or employment sabotage (where the controlling partner limits 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."
Parents Must Heal from Their Own Trauma
The report concludes that "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."
— Interpersonal Violence and Adolescent Pregnancy, The Healthy Teen Network
Healing From Trauma
Parents can begin healing from trauma (ACEs) by taking the 10-question ACEs quiz below. The ACEs quiz lets you know how much trauma you were exposed to as a child. Knowing this is a good starting point to know what you need to heal from.
To take the quiz, you answer yes or no for each question. Each yes counts for a 1. At the end of the quiz, the number of 1s is tallied 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. It also has a direct impact on how you parent your children.
Knowing your ACEs score and then attending one of our support group classes is a great place to begin your journey of healing from trauma.
Take the ACEs quiz now.