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The NAC is an advisory body which is co-chaired by the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Members are invited to serve on the National Advisory Committee for a two-year term. As an advisory body, the committee convenes as a group, at least twice a year, to address violence against women. National Advisory Committee members share their thoughts, ideas, and expertise by submitting recommendations on a variety of priority issues as the federal government develops its policies to address the crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women: Creating an Important Dialogue

January 28th, 2011

By Susan B. Carbon, Director, Office on Violence Against Women

By re-establishing the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, Attorney General Eric Holder is bringing together a group of people who are committed to sharing their expertise, knowledge and advice to improve the Nation's response to violence against women.  The first meeting, held January 28, brought this group together for their initial introductions, presentations and small group discussions.

The 15-member committee provides advice to the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on responses to domestic violence and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking crimes, with a focus on children and teens who are affected by the violence.

The diversity of the group will contribute to various viewpoints and expert opinions focusing on successful interventions with children and teens who witness and/or are victimized by intimate partners and sexual violence and the link between the well-being of children and mothers.  Working to end violence in families and in communities remains one of the Attorney General's highest priorities.

In 2010, he launched the Defending Childhood initiative with the goal of preventing children's exposure to violence, mitigating the negative impacts of exposure when it does occur, and developing knowledge and spreading awareness about the issue.

When the Violence Against Women Act was enacted over 16 years ago, we recognized that to confront the issues of domestic and sexual violence, meaningful collaborative partnerships between advocates, educators, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, the judiciary, medical and mental health professionals and community leaders were required.   This is why it is so beneficial to have the NAC - with its myriad disciplines - to explore the next steps and new directions with the goal of breaking the cycle of violence that plagues so many children and youth.

We are grateful to the commitment of each of the committee members for sharing their time and expertise to provide practical and policy guidance to the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services and strengthen our work as we move forward.  The membership of the committee consists of:  Jeffrey L. Edleson, St. Paul, MN;  Maria Jose Fletcher, Miami, FL;  Neil Irvin, Washington, DC; Amber Johnson, Providence,  RI; Monika Johnson Hostler, Raleigh, NC; Debbie Lee, San Francisco, CA; Susan Manheimer, San Mateo, CA;  Betsy McAlister Groves, Boston, MA; Carol Post, Wilmington, DE;  Francine Sherman, Newton, MA;  Melvin Stoof, Tucson, AZ; Joe Torre, New York, NY; Jerry Tello, Hacienda Heights, CA, Gabrielle Union, Beverly Hills, CA; Sujata Warrier, New York, NY. http://blogs.usdoj.gov/blog/archives/1164

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