Shelby County, Tn., Mayor Mark Luttrell says a network of agencies will use a $2 million U.S. Justice Department grant to help children exposed to violence in high-crime areas, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Three apartment complexes have been assigned “family service providers” to identify children in violent home situations or those who have been victims or witnesses of crimes.
In the past year, the county has organized more than 24 agencies that work with traumatized children and their parents. The agencies will work under the name NOVA, an acronym for Network for Overcoming Violence and Abuse. More than a third of children from infancy to age 17 face possible exposure to an act of violence in Memphis and Shelby County during a year’s time, the county estimates. Almost as many — 31.9 percent — face possible domestic violence, including aggravated assaults, in the home each year. While other crimes go down, the numbers of domestic violence cases continue to grow.