Kids At Risk Action Demonstrates how Trauma Impacts Children and how Traumatized Children Impact our Communities

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Weapons are not the problem; the epidemic of child abuse and childhood trauma is an exploding mental health problem filling our prisons and creating fertile ground for violent behaviors.

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"Teacher turnover is high, school performance is suffering, social workers, health workers and, law enforcement is seeing the exponential growth of fearful behaviors triggered by childhood traumas."

Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA) and nationally recognized speaker, Mike Tikkanen stated that "Minnesota hospitals are turning away mental health patients because they are unable to deal with the quantity and severity of mental health problems in their community. About 1/3 of the state ward children in America are forced onto psychotropic medications and almost two-thirds of youth in Juvenile Justice use them. All the Prozac in the world will not fix children broken by trauma and abuse. America put 20,000 one and two-year-olds on Prozac like drugs in 2014, and drug companies paid billions in fines for illegally selling their drugs to doctors for use on very young children. The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and 31% of the world’s mass shooters."

Tikkanen continued.."Teacher turnover is high, school performance is suffering, social workers, health workers and, law enforcement is seeing the exponential growth of fearful behaviors triggered by childhood traumas. Suicides, violent crime and mass shootings come from a very deep well of unaddressed mental health issues and it is most likely that our nation will see many more until voters recognize the depth and scope of the problem."

Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA) is a voice for abused and neglected children based in Minnesota and leads the national stage. Founder Mike Tikkanen, the author of the book Invisible Children, was a featured speaker to the United Nations Youth Assembly, the Women Prison Warden’s annual conference, the CASA Reno Conference and the Indiana Foster convention working with at-risk, neglected and abused children.

Tikkanen concluded, "Working with traumatized children has taught me that disturbed people do disturbing things”. The more traumatized the child, the more unstable and violent their behaviors. Gun violence is only a small part of the price our society is paying for the epidemic of child abuse in our nation today. 37% of American children are reported to Child Protection Services by the time they are 18, one hundred million Americans have a criminal record.

A friend of Tikkanen and Kids At Risk Action, former MN Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz stated that “The difference between that poor child and a felon is about eight years” & “90% of the youth in our Juvenile Justice System has passed through Child Protection”.

About Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA):
KARA was created to initiate community conversations and to engage citizens in discussions about the traumas suffered by neglected and abused children and the impact they are having on our communities. Since inception nearly two decades ago, KARA has engaged principals, teachers, social workers, lawyers, judges, police officers, parents, students, health professionals, and the larger community in discussions about child abuse and trauma.

About Mike Tikkanen:
Former president Minnesota Entrepreneurs Club, businessman, national speaker, CASA guardian ad-Litem volunteer, founding board member of CASAMN, CASA CARES, and Kids At Risk Action. and author (1000 articles Star Tribune & the book INVISIBLE CHILDREN.

Tikkanen's book Invisible Children (Pre-Teen Mothers, Adolescent Felons and What We Can Do About It), published in 2005, focuses on the shameful treatment of vulnerable children and how this impacts American society. For more than a dozen years Tikkanen spoke for abused and neglected children in court as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and has experienced first-hand the impact of extended exposure to violence and deprivation to young children at the hands of their parents and other caregivers. Frightened and alone these tortured children live in foster homes and institutions that poorly address their need for recovery and healing.

6 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and that represents only a small percentage of the abuse that occurs. Mike advocates for abused and neglected children bringing to light the profound impact the crisis of childhood trauma is having on our schools, public health, public safety, and neighborhoods.

By generating conversation around the issue and exposing facts that have for too long been left unspoken, Tikkanen brings attention to solutions that reverse trends of generational child abuse and trauma to make our communities safer and happier.

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Eden Gordon
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