Anna Age Eight Published in Print and eBook
For immediate release
The broken systems that led to her tragic death, and put all our children at risk today, are revealed by Dr Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello in Anna, Age Eight. The authors describe our nation’s epidemic of adverse childhood experiences, which are ten forms of abuse and neglect. The landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey of 1998 warned the nation that we faced an epidemic of childhood and adult trauma. Their urgent call to action was greeted with deafening silence.
The short life of eight-year-old Anna was the catalyst for Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello writing the book Anna, Age Eight. Anna is a fictional character based on very real children within the child welfare system. While working in New Mexico’s Child Protective Services — Research, Assessment and Data Bureau, Ortega Courtney and Cappello heard of a child that had been in and out of the system eight times, only to be returned to her deeply troubled mother who kicked her to death. The authors knew that this tragic death, and many others like it, were predictable and preventable. They advocated for data-driven strategies to stop more child maltreatment and fatalities from happening. At first, the authors felt like the Greek heroine Cassandra, cursed by the gods to know the future but never to be believed — at least not by powers that be. After many years and road trips to book talks across New Mexico, community stakeholders and elected officials are rallying around the lessons of Anna, Age Eight and a movement to ensure trauma-free childhoods is growing.
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