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Defending ChildhoodDefending Childhood

On Wednesday, December 12th at 10 a.m., the Attorney General Eric Holder's Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence will present their final report and recommendations during the quarterly meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Council). The event will be live-streamed at

As part of Attorney General Holder's Defending Childhood initiative, the task force held four public hearings and engaged experts, community leaders, policy makers, and academics on strategies to respond to children who experience violence directly or as observers. The Task Force is comprised of 13 leading experts including practitioners, child and family advocates, academic experts, and licensed clinicians. Joe Torre, founder and board chair of the Joe Torre Safe at HomeĀ® Foundation, and a witness to domestic violence as a child himself, and Robert Listenbee, Jr., Chief of the Juvenile Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, serve as the Task Force Co-Chairs.

Attorney General Eric Holder launched the Defending Childhood initiative on September 23, 2010, to address a national crisis: the exposure of America's children to violence as victims and as witnesses. Children exposed to violence often experience long-term physical, psychological, and emotional harm, and are at a higher risk of engaging in criminal behavior later in life. Defending Childhood aims to prevent children's experience to violence when possible, mitigate the negative impact of exposure when it does occur, and to develop knowledge and spread awareness about this issue.