Feds Target $37M to Fight Bullying and Other Childhood Violence

About 1 out of 10 kids in 6th – 10th grades are getting bullied, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and they believe that 13 percent of kids in that age group are doing the bullying.

“Bullying can have long-term consequences for the safety of youth, as evidenced by the fact that two-thirds of school shooters reported having been bullied or having bullied others,” Jeff Slowikowski, OJJDP’s acting administrator, points out in his Department of Justice blog.

The Department of Justice has launched the Defending Childhood Initiative, which is a nationwide campaign focusing on children exposed to different forms of violence including bullying. DOJ spent $5.5 million last year and hopes to increase the budget to $37 million in FY 2011.

Sixty Percent of Kids are Exposed to Violence

More than 60 percent of children have been directly or indirectly exposed to violence within the past year, according to a national study by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Nearly one-half of kids surveyed were assaulted at least once in the past year and more than 1 in 10 were injured in an assault.

Conducted between January and May 2008, the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence, measured exposure to violence for kids 17 and younger. They looked at conventional crime, sex crimes, school violence and threats, family violence and more.

Attorney General Eric Holder recently unveiled the Defending Childhood Initiative, focused on this issue. So far, the Department of Justice has aware $5.5 million to eight cities (none of them in Georgia) to focus on:

  • Providing appropriate programs and service for families and children
  • Increasing access to quality programs and services
  • Developing new services where gaps exist.

For the Department of Justice’s full press release, click here.