Washington, DC, June 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As anti-violence advocates, we are horrified by the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border. This is a perverse response to human beings in dire need with major negative consequences for these children in both the short and long term.

“We know this wholescale policy of removing children from their parents is very dangerous and cruel,” said Monika Johnson Hostler, Raliance Managing Partner and President of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its research on child abuse has found that safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families protect children and significantly reduces the risk of abuse. From the groundbreaking Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study, we know that childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization as well as lifelong health.

Further, the inability of the Department of Homeland Security and other detention officials to keep children safe must be a central part of this conversation.  Children who have been taken from their families are not just at risk for future victimization but current victimization as well.  The government has taken children away from their homes and families without regard to their well-being post-separation. 

This is not the first time that the forced separation of children and their parents has been carried out in this country.  From slave masters legally taking children away from their families to children being separated from parents in internment camps during World War II and many instances before, after, and in between, our country has a shameful history on this issue.  Our insistence on ignoring this history has driven its repetition.  The practice of stealing children from families of color with no consequence is purposely dehumanizing and must be stopped.  

President Trump and his Cabinet have the power to change course on this issue immediately, and we call on them to do so. But we cannot wait. Congress has an ethical and moral obligation to protect children regardless of where they are born. As a nation, we must end the policy of separation now. Legislative proposals from Speaker Ryan and Representative Goodlatte are not the solutions we need. Rather, we call on Congress to act immediately and pass clean legislation free from destructive immigration policy demands to ensure parents and children stay together after crossing the border while seeking our protection.

###

RALIANCE is a national partnership dedicated to ending sexual violence in one generation. Every day, RALIANCE makes prevention possible by advancing research, influencing policy, supporting innovative programs and helping leaders establish safe workplaces and strong communities. 

Ebony Tucker
Raliance
(202) 869-8550
etucker@raliance.org