FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Todd Hallidy
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Date: February 23, 2001
A.G. TO ADDRESS CHILD VICTIMIZATION CONFERENCE IN NEW ENGLAND
Brady's Leadership in Delaware Will Be 'Model' for Effort in Connecticut
(Wilmington, DE) - Attorney General M. Jane Brady will deliver the keynote address this Tuesday, February 27, 2001, at a conference entitled "Keeping our Children Safe: Addressing Child Sexual Victimization in Northeastern Connecticut." The conference is scheduled to take place on the campus of the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, CT.
The Attorney General was invited to speak after the sponsoring agency in that state learned of her leading role in bringing interested professionals together in a collaborative effort to address child victimization issues in Delaware in 1996. The subsequent Task Force report, Safe Harbors, was released in April, 1998 and outlined needed legislative and policy changes to better protect child victims in Delaware. Many of the proposed reforms have since been implemented. Officials in Northeastern Connecticut now hope to replicate Delaware's success.
Last year, the Women's Center of Northeastern Connecticut received a grant to examine child sexual victimization in that mostly rural corner of that state.. According to Executive Director Wendy Moher, "We were having a hard time finding out anything....It's a topic that people don't like to talk about. We went on the web and found the Safe Harbors report and realized this was exactly what we needed. We needed to work toward building collaborative teams in this area." Ms. Moher then contacted Attorney General Brady, and found her very eager to support her efforts.
120 professionals from law enforcement, the judiciary, and family service and non-profit agencies will attend the conference. According to Ms. Moher, "People here are excited about this...We're full, and we've had to turn people away." Attorney General Brady will discuss the challenges involved in bringing interested parties from varied backgrounds to work together on her Task Force. There was initial reluctance in some corners to recognize that services to child victims needed to be improved. Also, confidentiality issues had to be surmounted in Delaware before some agencies could fully participate. Says Ms. Moher, "I look at her (Brady's) effort as a model for how we can implement this in Northeastern Connecticut."
After the keynote address, Attorney General Brady will speak at smaller conference workshop sessions and will field questions from conference-goers. "We've learned in Delaware that we can achieve great changes to benefit child victims if we can get past some barriers and work together. If our experience can help other states, that can only be beneficial for children everywhere,"