“Although violence can beget violence, it’s hardly the only cause of violence,” says Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principal investigator of the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study), groundbreaking epidemiological research that showed a direct link between 10 types of childhood trauma and the adult onset of chronic disease, mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence, among many other consequences.
“Basically there’s lots of other ways,” he says. “Humiliating people. Isolating people. Verbally provoking them. All of those have potential for producing violence in response.”
In addition, violence can provoke nonviolent behavior that can be just as damaging as violence. In other words, childhood trauma does not equal only violence.