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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

DOJ Officials, Arkansas First Lady to Open NCAC International Symposium

HUNTSVILLE – Two top U.S. Department of Justice officials and the First Lady of Arkansas will open the 34th International Symposium on Child Abuse presented by the National Children’s Advocacy Center March 19-22 at the Von Braun Center.

The annual symposium is a premiere conference that provides expert training and numerous networking opportunities to professionals in the child maltreatment field, and is one of the few conferences that addresses all aspects of child maltreatment, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, poly-victimization, exploitation, intervention, trafficking and prevention. The NCAC will bring together approximately 1,400 law enforcement, medical, prosecution, victim advocacy, child protection and mental health professionals, and youth-serving organizations from 48 states, Washington, D.C., and 12 countries for the symposium.

Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson and Arkansas’ First Lady Susan Hutchinson will speak at the symposium’s opening session Tuesday, March 20, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

NCAC Executive Director Chris Newlin said, “We are honored to have officials from the U.S. Department of Justice, along with First Lady Hutchinson of Arkansas, with us to welcome participants from throughout the United States and the world and provide an inspirational message about the impact and value of the work being done at Children’s Advocacy Centers. The Department of Justice has long supported the multidisciplinary work of Children’s Advocacy Centers in responding to child abuse.”        

“Since its inception in 1985, the NCAC has been a model in caring for abused children and in coordinating the work of the numerous agencies that treat and care for those courageous children with the agencies that investigate and prosecute cases involving them,” Town said. “The NCAC and its international symposium have trained thousands of professionals in the best methods of caring for the children and investigating their cases. The Justice Department has awarded valuable grants to support the NCAC’s important work, and I welcome Acting Associate Attorney General Panuccio and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Hanson to Alabama to address the symposium and underscore the invaluable service the NCAC provides to children and communities across our country,” he said.  

Hutchinson, a former schoolteacher, has a lifetime of experience advocating for and working with children. Before becoming Arkansas’ first lady, Hutchinson spent several years on the board of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County, one of 16 non-profit Children’s Advocacy Centers in Arkansas that work with abused children.

Panuccio is the third-ranking officer in the Department of Justice, overseeing more than a dozen department components, including the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Environment and Natural Resources, and Tax Divisions, and the Office of Justice Programs and the Office on Violence Against Women.

Hanson, who worked as general counsel, chief of staff and legislative director for U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, brings more than 17 years of congressional policy, management, appropriations and political experience to the Justice Department.

The three-day international gathering will offer more than 160 workshops with tracks designed specifically for administration, child protective services, forensic interviewing, human trafficking/sexual exploitation, law enforcement, medical, mental health/treatment, prevention, prosecution/legal, secondary traumatic stress, victim advocacy and youth-serving organization.

For information or to arrange an interview with NCAC Executive Director Newlin or a speaker, contact Pam Clasgens, NCAC Community Awareness and Prevention Director, 256-327-3761 (direct line), or 256-533-5437 (main line) or

About the NCAC: The NCAC revolutionized the response to child sexual abuse in the U.S. There are currently more than 1,000 Children’s Advocacy Centers in the U.S. and 33 other countries are based on the model developed in Huntsville, Ala., in 1985. The NCAC provides services to children and families in the Huntsville-Madison County area, and is a national and international leader in training for professionals responsible for the protection of children.

The NCAC models, promotes and delivers excellence in child abuse response and prevention through service, education and leadership. For information, contact 256-533-5437 or visit


Updated March 14, 2018