ATTORNEY GENERAL UNVEILS DEFENDING
$5.5 Million in Grants Awarded for First Phase of Initiative
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder today officially unveiled Defending Childhood, a new Department of Justice initiative focused on addressing children's exposure to violence. The goals of the initiative are to prevent children's exposure to violence as victims and witnesses, mitigate the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence, and develop knowledge about and increase awareness of this issue.
"For me, the issue of children's exposure to violence has been both a personal and professional concern for decades. As our nation's Attorney General and as a parent, it remains a top priority," said Attorney General Holder. "Through renewing and refocusing our efforts to serve our nation's most vulnerable and most distressed children we can transform the country we love for the better - one child at a time."
A key component of the initiative is a multi-year demonstration program. Phase I includes planning grants for eight demonstration sites announced today. In Phase II, up to four communities will be selected from the initial eight to receive funding for further implementation of their plans, based on the availability of funding. This program supports the development of comprehensive community-based strategies to prevent and reduce the impact of children's exposure to violence in their homes, schools, and communities.
The eight demonstration sites are:
Some examples of the efforts these grants will support are:
The grantees will work in collaboration with other local organizations, including victim service providers, tribal non-profit organizations, and community based organizations with a documented history of effectiveness concerning children exposed to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
In addition to the demonstration program grants, the Department of Justice is committing additional funding for research, evaluation, public awareness and partnerships related to the initiative. The other awards announced today are:
Detailed information about grants awarded in each of the above categories is available at www.justice.gov/defendingchildhood/.