Task Force Addresses Children Exposed to Violence - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Task Force Addresses Children Exposed to Violence

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Bismarck is playing a prominent role in a federal effort to identify and deal with violence against Native American  children. The city hosted the first of four hearings across the country. Today's hearing focused on children exposed to violence in the home.

An advisory committee heard testimonies from tribal members and national experts. The information will be used to draft policy recommendations for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. next year.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp says it's important not only for the children of today, but for future generations.

"This is something that is deeply important to a great deal of North Dakotans, but also children and families all across Indian country," says Senator Heitkamp.

"Clearly, when you have such a large percentage of children, Native American children and also Alaskan children, facing violence as witnesses and as victims, we need to address the problems. But how do you go about doing that? What are the best kinds of recommendations that will actually address those issues over the long run? Those are things that we brought subject matter experts in, the best experts in the country,  to tell us how to do that," says Bob Listenbee, U.S. Department of Justice.

Holder says he plans to implement the task force's recommendations.

Additional hearings are scheduled for Fort Lauderdale, Anchorage, and Phoenix.

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