Preventing childhood exposure to violence is one of NCCD’s top research priorities. Beginning in 2011, NCCD provided technical assistance to the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence (also known as the Defending Childhood Task Force) through a cooperative agreement with the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) as a component of the Attorney General's Defending Childhood Initiative. The task force, established in 2011 by US Attorney General Eric Holder, was convened to address the epidemic levels of exposure to violence faced by our nation’s children.
NCCD assisted the Defending Childhood Task Force in conducting four public hearings across the country. Based on the testimony at these hearings; research; and extensive input from service providers, advocates, scholars, and survivors nationwide, the Defending Childhood Task Force issued its final report to the Attorney General in December 2012. The report presented the task force’s findings and laid out 56 comprehensive policy recommendations.
The Defending Childhood Task Force was co-chaired by Joe Torre, chair of the Joe Torre Safe At Home® Foundation, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President of Operations, and a witness to violence as a child himself; and Robert L. Listenbee, Jr., former Chief of the Juvenile Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia (subsequently Administrator of OJJDP). The task force was composed of 13 leading experts in the field of children’s exposure to violence, including practitioners, child and family advocates, academic experts, and licensed clinicians.