In December 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence released a report with recommendations to combat the growing epidemic of kids exposed to violence. Given recent events and the public discourse over violence, now is an especially poignant time to revisit this report and its recommendations.
"Exposure to violence is a national crisis that affects approximately two out of every three of our children," states the report. "Of the 76 million children currently residing in the United States, an estimated 46 million can expect to have their lives touched by violence, crime, abuse, and psychological trauma this year."
Research has shown that exposure to violence in any form harms children and can traumatize kids and severly impact their development, health and future productivity. Early exposure to violence can also have "astronomical" costs to the healthcare, child welfare, justice and other systems. Calling childrens' exposure to violence "one of the most signficant challenges to the future of America's children that we have ever known," the report makes several recommendations for ways to end this epidemic.
Recommendations include ideas to:
- End the epidemic of children exposed to violence
- Identify children exposed to violence
- Treat and heal those exposed to violence
- Create safe and nurturing homes
- Support communities in rising up out of violence
- Rethink the juvenile justice system
Liz Wu is a Digital Accounts Manager at Prichard Communications, where she oversees digital outreach for Reclaiming Futures and edits Reclaiming Futures Every Day. Before joining the Prichard team, Liz established the West Coast communications presence for the New America Foundation, where she managed all media relations, event planning and social media outreach for their 6 domestic policy programs. Liz received a B.A. in both Peace and Conflict Studies and German from the University of California at Berkeley. She tweets from @LizSF.
Updated: January 11 2013