Many who study crime believe that those who become criminals were exposed to violent or lawless behavior in childhood, not to mention the long-term psychological or physical damage such trauma can cause to all children. In 2015, the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention published a survey which found that about 58 percent of all children in America had either witnessed or been a victim of crime in the previous year, to include not only violent acts but property crimes, sibling abuse and bullying. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder launched a program in 2010 called Defending Childhood, and last week Holder announced the launch of “Changing Minds,” to help adults heal children exposed to trauma. The former attorney general explains further in this Guest Post:

By Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Imagine that in a given year, more than half of American adults – let’s say three in every five – experience violence, either as victims or as witnesses. What would be your reaction? My guess is that it would fall somewhere on a scale between skepticism (that violence could be so prevalent) and outrage. It would motivate us to action. We would pass laws. We would commission research to determine causes. We would take steps to make our homes and communities safer. In short, we would – I hope – do something.

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