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Published September 23, 2010, 04:44 PM

GF Receives Child Anti-Violence Grant

Grand Forks has received a nearly $160,000 grant from the Department of Justice to help prevent children's exposure to violence.

Grand Forks has received a Department of Justice grant totaling nearly $160,000 to help prevent children’s exposure to violence.

The Safer Tomorrow: Ending Childhood Exposure to Violence grant provides local communities with funding to develop and implement multi-disciplinary plans that specifically address prevention, intervention, treatment and response strategies directed to children.

The grant is part of the Justice Department’s newly unveiled Defending Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at reducing the negative effects experienced by children exposed to violence and increasing knowledge and awareness of this issue.

In a statement issued Thursday, Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown credited agencies like Lutheran Social Services and the Community Violence Intervention Center for helping secure the grant.

"This award speaks of the spirit of collaboration that is alive in the City of Grand Forks that focuses on improving the lives of our youth," said Brown. "We will now be able to expand our efforts to effectively involve most every organization serving youth in our city in order to ensure the safety and well-being of our youth."

"It's so exciting to think what this grant will mean for youth who have experienced abuse or violence of any kind," CVIC Executive Director Kristi Hall-Jiran said. "For the first time, we will be able to implement a community-wide system that will help to prevent children from falling through the cracks and ensure they receive the help they need from a variety of local agencies."

Grand Forks is one of eight demonstration sites across the country that received a total of $5.5 million to implement the Defending Childhood Initiative.