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1. Attorney General Eric Holder’s Initiative DOJ prosecutor, Superior Court Judge, US Attorney Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration –

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Presentation on theme: "1. Attorney General Eric Holder’s Initiative DOJ prosecutor, Superior Court Judge, US Attorney Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration –"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Attorney General Eric Holder’s Initiative DOJ prosecutor, Superior Court Judge, US Attorney Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration – Holder led an interagency effort on CEV and convened National Summit that led to a blueprint for action: Safe From the Start: Taking Action on Children Exposed to Violence Attorney General 2

3 DOJ’s Defending Childhood Website justice.gov/Defending Childhood 3

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5 5 Goals of the Defending Childhood Initiative Prevent children’s exposure to violence Mitigate the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence Develop knowledge about and spread awareness of this issue

6 Federal Coordination US Department of Justice – Office of the Attorney General – Office of Justice Programs – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – Office for Victims of Crime – National Institute of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women – Office of Community Oriented Policing – Executive Office of US Attorneys US Department of Health and Human Service US Department of Education 6

7 Over $30 M Invested From FY2010 – FY2012 Research and Evaluation Direct Action in Communities – Comprehensive Demonstration Project – Safe Start Program (www.safestartcenter.org) – OVW Children Exposed to Violence grants Training and Technical Assistance Attorney General’s Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence 7

8 National Survey on Children Exposed to Violence (NATSCEV) Children’s exposure to violence, whether as victims or witnesses, is often associated with long-term physical, psychological, and emotional harm. Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., Ormrod, R., Hamby, S., and Kracke, K Children’s Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey. Bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 8

9 NATSCEV Study Findings Children exposed to violence are more likely to: – Fail in school and in jobs; – Suffer from mental health problems; – Suffer from serious medical problems; – Become future victims of violence; and – Become involved in the juvenile and criminal justice system. Sixty percent of American children were exposed to violence, crime, or abuse in their homes, schools, and communities. 9

10 NATSCEV Study Findings Almost 40 percent of American children were direct victims of two or more violent acts, and one in ten were victims of violence five or more times. Children are more likely to be exposed to violence and crime than adults. Almost 15 percent of children experienced an assault with a weapon and were injured as a result. 10

11 NATSCEV Study Findings Almost one in ten American children saw one family member assault another family member, and more than 25 percent had been exposed to family violence during their life. 10 percent suffered some form of child maltreatment. A child’s exposure to one type of violence increases the likelihood that the child will be exposed to other types of violence and exposed multiple times. 11

12 Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence The Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence was charged with developing a report with actionable policy recommendations for preventing children’s exposure to violence. The Task Force conducted four public hearings, “listening sessions,” research review, and input from experts, advocates, and impacted families and communities nationwide 12

13 Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence The Task Force produced a final report in December full.pdf Over 50 policy recommendations for the federal, state, local, and tribal levels. 13

14 Key Task Force Recommendations Universal screening, assessment, and treatment for children across systems. Universal training for professionals across systems to identify and address the impact of the trauma of exposure to violence 14

15 15 Launching of a national public awareness campaign to raise awareness and promote community action Creation of a task force focusing on exposure to violence in American Indian/Alaska Native communities

16 Task Force Members: Co-Chairs Co-Chair: Joe Torre, Chairman of the Joe Torre Safe at Home® Foundation Mr. Torre, former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees, created his foundation to educate students, parents, teachers, and school faculty about the effects of domestic violence. Co-Chair: Robert Listenbee, Jr., J.D., Chief of the Juvenile Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia Mr. Listenbee is now the Administrator of OJJDP. 16

17 Task Force Members Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., Founder of Homeboy Industries Sharon W. Cooper, M.D., CEO of Developmental & Forensic Pediatrics, P.A. Sarah Deer, Citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma Deanne Tilton Durfee, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Inter- Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) Thea James, M.D., Director of the Boston Medical Center Massachusetts Violence Intervention Advocacy Program Alicia Lieberman, Ph.D., Director of the Early Trauma Treatment Network 17

18 Task Force Members Robert Macy, Ph.D., Founder, Director, and President of the International Center for Disaster Resilience-Boston Steven Marans, Ph.D., Director of the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence Jim McDonnell, Chief of Police, Long Beach Police Department, California Georgina Mendoza, J.D., Senior Deputy Attorney and Community Safety Director for the City of Salinas, California Retired Major General Antonio Taguba, President of TDLS Consulting, LLC, and Chairman of Pan Pacific American Leaders and Mentors (PPALM) 18

19 CONCLUSION 19 Exposure to violence in any form harms children, and different forms of violence have different negative Impacts. Sexual abuse places children at high risk for serious and chronic health problems, including PTSD, depression, suicide, eating disorders, sleep disorders, substance abuse, and deviant sexual behavior.

20 20 Physical abuse puts children at risk for all of the above health problems and they are at heightened risk for cognitive and develop- mental impairments. Witnessing intimate partner violence puts children at risk for all of the above and burdens children with a profound sense of guilt and shame, fearing that they caused the violence.

21 21 Children witnessing assaults and killings of “family” members, peers, trusted adults, and innocent bystanders leads to either never feeling safe and/or that violence is normal and that all relationships are fragile that no one is ever to be trusted.

22 22 When not treated as a serious Public Health problem, exposure to violence becomes a serious (and more costly) Public Safety problem.

23 THE GOOD NEWS “The long term negative outcomes of exposure to violence can be prevented, and children exposed to violence can be helped to recover. Children exposed to violence can heal if we identify them early and give them specialized services, evidence-based treatment, and proper care and support. We have the power to end the damage to children from violence and abuse in our country; it does not need to be inevitable.” 23


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