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Attorney General Discusses Defending Childhood Initiative in Public Service Announcement

May 27, 2011

On May 24, 2011, the Department of Justice issued the following press release:

WASHINGTON—A public service announcement (PSA) featuring Attorney General Eric Holder began airing this week on the Investigation Discovery network. This 30-second PSA is part of the Attorney General's Defending Childhood initiative to address the issue of children's exposure to violence.

"This PSA calls on all of us to take action to protect our children from violence in communities across the country," said Attorney General Holder. "We can protect and heal the most vulnerable among us and transform the country for the better—one child at a time."

The goals of the initiative are to prevent children's exposure to violence as victims and witnesses, to mitigate the negative effects that children exposed to violence experience, and to develop knowledge about and increase public awareness of this issue.

A key component of the Defending Childhood initiative is a multi-year demonstration program to develop comprehensive, community-based strategies to prevent and reduce the impact of children's exposure to violence in their homes, schools and communities. In 2010, eight planning grants were awarded to begin this process to the City of Boston; the City of Portland, Maine; the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana; the City of Grand Forks, N.D.; the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Board of Commissioners; the Multnomah County, Oreg., Department of Human Services; the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, S.D.; and Shelby County, Tenn.

Defending Childhood involves collaborative efforts across the Department of Justice and other federal agencies including the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education. Critical partners outside the federal government include state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, national experts, practitioners and advocates.

The PSA was distributed nationally through the Department of Justice YouTube channel. Detailed information on Defending Childhood is located at: www.justice.gov/ag/defendingchildhood

The PSA can be viewed at: www.justice.gov/video.php?id=15

The script follows:

Our children are exposed to violence every day—in their neighborhoods, in their schools, even in their own homes.
Exposure to violence can have a devastating and lifelong impact.
Through community action and leadership at the national level...
We're identifying the children who need our help.
I'm Attorney General Eric Holder.
And I'm asking those of you who have a role in a child's life—to take action.
Through your attention and early intervention, we can help children in need to heal, to thrive.
Together, we can change their lives and their futures.
Join the Justice Department in Defending Childhood.


For more information on the Defending Childhood initiative, visit www.justice.gov/ag/defendingchildhood.

Watch the public service announcement at www.justice.gov/video.php?id=15


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