Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Attorney General Holder, Secretary Duncan Meet with Youth Leaders, Parents on Teen Dating Violence

WASHINGTON – As part of the Justice Department’s year-long commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met today with teen leaders, their parents and program directors from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships (Start Strong). The discussion around teen dating violence was held in conjunction with nationwide events as part of the 6thIt’s Time to Talk Day, organized annually by Liz Claiborne Inc. to draw national attention to the importance of talking about domestic violence, teen dating violence and intimate partner abuse.

 

“We must engage the broadest spectrum of community partners in order to stem youth violence, and a cornerstone of that partnership is young people themselves,” said Attorney General Holder. “The Department of Justice is committed to working with young people to develop innovative solutions to help prevent teen dating abuse.”

 

“For too long we’ve been unwilling to face the reality that teen dating violence occurs,” said Secretary Duncan. “It’s been a taboo subject folks would simply not talk about.  But we can’t afford to do that any more: too many young people are getting hurt. We must all do our part to break the silence and work toward eliminating teen dating violence.”

 

Start Strong , the largest initiative ever funded to target 11-to-14-year-olds to promote healthy relationships as the way to prevent teen dating violence and abuse, is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the Family Violence Prevention Fund. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Blue Shield of California Foundation are investing $18 million in 11 communities across the country to identify and evaluate the most promising pathways to stop dating violence and abuse before it starts (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is funding 10 sites around the country and Blue Shield of California Foundation is funding one site in California.). The Family Violence Prevention Fund is the National Program Office for Start Strong. Youth representing four of the Start Strong east coast sites, including Boston Public Health Commission, Boston; Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, New York; RYASAP, Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Sojourner House; Providence, Rhode Island participated in today’s discussion. 

 

Start Strong communities are working to create innovative prevention models that can be replicated across the country. Each community has developed a comprehensive plan that focuses on four core strategies involving e ducation, policy change, community outreach and cutting-edge social marketing campaigns to empower teens to develop healthier relationships throughout their lives. For more information, go to: http://www.startstrongteens.org

 

Liz Claiborne Inc. has organized It’s Time to Talk Day each year since 2004 to draw national attention to the importance of talking about domestic violence, teen dating violence and intimate partner abuse. Today’s event in Washington, D.C. is one of many being held across the country in schools, communities and state and local governments. For more information, go to: http://www.loveisnotabuse.com.

 

Today’s event is another segment of the Justice Department’s effort to raise public awareness on issues around violence against women, to reinforce and build coalitions among federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and victim services communities, and to reinforce the goal of ending domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking for men, women and children across the country. In addition to the organizations, activists and victim service providers in the field holding events today, the Department has encouraged the more than 100 celebrity allies who have lent their names in support of the Department’s “Join the List” initiative to raise awareness with their fans, through web and fan sites, and social networking profiles. A list of celebrity allies is below:

 

Aaron Eckhart - Actor

Alexis Bledel -Actress

Amanda Beard -Olympic Gold-Medal Swimmer

Amy Poehler - Actress, Comedienne

Ashley Judd - Actress

Barbara Walters - Journalist, Author, Television Host   

Brian White - Actor

Chamique Holdsclaw - Atlanta Dream, WNBA

Chrisette Michele - Singer-songwriter

Christina Ricci - Actress

Common - Hip Hop Artist

Cuba Gooding, Jr. - Actor

Curtis Granderson - Detroit Tigers, MLB

Cynthia Cooper - Houston Comets, WNBA (Retired), Former NCAA and WNBA Coach, WNBA Hall of Fame Inductee

Daisy Fuentes - Television Personality

Dara Torres - 5-time Olympic Athlete

Debbie Allen - Actress, Choreographer, Director, Producer

Diane Keaton - Actress, Director, Producer

Dominique Dawes - Olympic Gold Medalist, Motivational Speaker, Activist

Ellen DeGeneres - Talk Show Host, Comedienne, Actress

Elisabeth Hasselbeck - Author, Television Host, Designer

Emily Blunt - Actress

Emmy Rossum - Actress, Singer-songwriter

Eva Mendes - Actress

Faith Hill - Singer, Actress

Fiona Apple - Singer-songwriter

Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon - Actress

Ginuwine - Singer

Idris Elba - Actor

Irene Bedard - Actress

Jaime Pressly - Actress

Jason Bateman - Actor

Jenna Fischer - Actress, Writer

Jennifer Love Hewitt - Actress

Joe Torre - Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Founder of the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation

John Lithgow - Actor

Joy Behar - Comedienne, Author, Television Host, Actress

Judy Blume - Author

Kevin Spacey - Actor

Kristina Guerrero - Television Host

Kyra Sedgwick - Actress, Producer

Linda Fairstein - Author

Leeza Gibbons – Television/Radio Host, Producer

Leslie Morgan Steiner - Author

Lisa Leslie - Los Angeles Sparks, WNBA, Olympic Gold Medal Basketball Player

LisaRaye McCoy - Actress

Marcus Johnson -Musician

Mariska Hargitay - Actress, Founder and President of the Joyful Heart Foundation

Martina McBride - Singer-Songwriter

Matt Dillon - Actor

MC Lyte - Rap Pioneer, Songwriter, Actress, Activist

Melissa Joan Hart - Actress

Meryl Streep - Actress

Michael Bolton - Singer

Michelle Pfeiffer - Actress

Michelle Williams - Actress

Mira Sorvino - Actress

Nastia Liukin - Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast

NFL Players Association, in addition to the following players:

Adalius Thomas - New England Patriots

Brandon Moore - New York Jets

Darrell Green - Washington Redskins (Retired)

Drew Brees -New Orleans Saints

Erik Coleman - Atlanta Falcons

Gary Brackett - Indianapolis Colts

George Wilson - Buffalo Bills

Hank Fraley - Cleveland Browns

Jay Feely - New York Jets

Jerricho Cotchery - New York Jets

Kareem McKenzie - New York Giants

LaDainian Tomlinson - San Diego Chargers

Muhsin Muhammad - Carolina Panthers

Nate Kaeding - San Diego Chargers

Quintin Mikell - Philadelphia Eagles

Shaun O’Hara - New York Giants

Steve Hutchinson - Minnesota Vikings

Nia Long - Actress, Director

Nicole Kidman - Actress, UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador

Omar Epps - Actor

Padma Lakshmi - Television Host

Patti LaBelle - Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Author, Humanitarian

Paula Zahn - Journalist, Producer

Peter Hermann - Actor

Phylicia Rashad - Actress

Rebecca Romijn - Actress

Ricky Martin - Singer

Robin Givens - Actress, Writer

Rosie Perez - Actress, Dancer, Choreographer
S. Epatha Merkerson - Actress

Sally Field – Actress

Salma Hayek - Actress, Director, Producer
Sam Jones III - Actor

Scarlett Johansson - Actress, Singer-songwriter

Sherri Shepherd - Comedienne, Actress, Television Host

Steve Buscemi - Actor, Director

Stockard Channing - Actress

Susan Sarandon - Actress

Teresa Weatherspoon - Los Angeles Sparks, WNBA (Retired), Coach of Louisiana Tech Women’s Basketball

Tim Roth - Actor

Tom Arnold - Actor

Tony Hawk - Skateboarder

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team

Victor Rivas Rivers - Actor, Author, Activist

Vivica A. Fox - Actress, Director, Producer

Washington Mystics - WNBA

Washington Nationals - MLB

Whoopi Goldberg - Actress, Comedienne, Producer, Television Host

Wynton Marsalis - Musician

Zoe Saldana - Actress

 

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