The problem of children’s exposure to violence is an urgent one, one we can’t afford to ignore.

Eric Holder
Former U.S. Attorney General


In 2010, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder launched the Defending Childhood Initiative to address the impacts of childhood exposure to violence. The Defending Childhood Initiative currently operates in eight sites nationwide, including:

Multnomah County, OR
Boston, MA
Cuyahoga County, OH
City of Grand Forks, ND
City of Portland, ME
Rocky Boy Reservation, MT
Rosebud Sioux Tribe, SD
Shelby County, TN

This initiative raises the issue of childhood exposure to violence to a national level, promoting the health and wellness of impacted children. From policy changes, public education, professional practice changes, community and youth engagement, and key services, the Defending Childhood Initiative is working to name and address the problem, support children and the adults who care for them, and use the best science and research to increase investment in what we know works.

Learn more about the national initiative.

Learn more about childhood exposure to violence, prevention and intervention strategies from Defending Childhood partner Futures Without Violence.

Contact Us

Erin Fairchild (503) 988-4995
This Web site is funded through a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).