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Sarah Deer-Muscogee Creek
Native Brief: WASHINGTON - Sarah Deer, Muscogee Creek, has been chosen to serve on a US Department of Justice National Task Force called the Defending Childhood Task Force.
Deer is an assistant professor at William Mitchell College of Law and her scholarship focuses on the intersection of tribal law and victims' rights. Deer is also an expert on violence against Native women and made testimony this past summer before the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli announced the establishment of the Attorney General's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence. The task force is part of the Attorney General's Defending Childhood initiative, a project arising from the need to respond to the epidemic levels of exposure to violence faced by our nation's children.
"Our vision of justice must start with preventing crime before it happens, protecting our children, and ending cycles of violence and victimization. Every young person deserves the opportunity to grow and develop free from fear of violence," said Associate Attorney General Perrelli.
"The task force will develop knowledge and spread awareness about the pervasive problem of childrenâ€™s exposure to violence - this will ultimately improve our homes, cities, towns and communities."
Following the release of the compelling findings of the first National Survey on Children Exposed to Violence (2009), Attorney General Eric Holder launched the Defending Childhood initiative in September 2010. The goals of the initiative are to prevent children's exposure to violence as victims and witnesses, reduce the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence, and develop knowledge about and increase awareness of this issue.
The Defending Childhood Task Force is composed of 14 leading experts from diverse fields and perspectives, including practitioners, child and family advocates, academic experts and licensed clinicians. Joe Torre, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, founder of the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, and a witness to domestic violence as a child himself, will serve as the co-chair of the task force.
Over the course of the year, the Defending Childhood Task Force will conduct four public hearings around the country to learn from practitioners, policymakers, academics and community members about the extent and nature of the problem of children's exposure to violence in the United States, both as victims and as witnesses. The task force will also identify promising practices, programming and community strategies used to prevent and respond to childrenâ€™s exposure to violence.
Hearings will take place in Baltimore, Albuquerque, Miami and Detroit. The first hearing of the task force will be held in Baltimore on November 29, and 30, at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
The Defending Childhood Task Force will issue a final report to the attorney general presenting its findings and comprehensive policy recommendations. The report will serve as a blueprint for preventing children's exposure to violence and for mitigating the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence across the United States.
posted October 19, 2011 8:00 am edt
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