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Jetta Bernier, MA
Jetta Bernier has led Massachusetts Citizens for Children as its Executive Director since 1984, having provided leadership in the areas of child abuse prevention, family support, and child welfare reform.
She directs the "Enough Abuse Campaign," a citizen education and mobilization effort working through the MA Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Partnership to prevent child sexual abuse in communities across the state. The initiative funded through a 5-year grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2002 to 2007, is currently supported by the Ms. Foundation for Women.
In 2012 she co-authored the peer-reviewed article published in the Journal on Child Sexual Abuse entitled, “The Enough Abuse Campaign: Building the Movement to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse in
She is Co-Chair of the Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws, a grassroots coalition that succeeded in 2006 in extending the state's criminal Statute of Limitations in cases of child sexual abuse and that is working to pass the Comprehensive Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Act of 2009 to address gaps in current laws.
Jetta co-produced with Alvid Productions, Inc. in 2008, "It's Not Just Jenna," an 18-minute video about child sexual abuse and its prevention. She developed its companion "Learning and Discussion Guide," which are now being used to educate parents, youth and youth-serving professionals in several states.
In 1996, Jetta launched MCC's Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) public education campaign which evolved into the current
In 1991, Jetta was selected by The Boston Parents' Paper to receive its "Public Friend of Children" Award. Voices for
In 1998, Jetta oversaw a two-year effort involving over 200 child advocates and policymakers that culminated in the release of the nation's first "State Call to Action to End Child Abuse in
On the legislative front, Jetta worked with prosecutors and the medical community around passage of a child neglect law that now allows egregious cases of child abuse to be prosecuted as a felony. In response to the death of 2-year old Robin Twitchell, she helped organize the Coalition to Repeal Exemptions to Child Abuse Laws (CRECAL) which successfully repealed legal language in
Her early collaboration in 1990 with the American Bar Association engaged policymakers in discussions about the need for a child death review system and set in motion efforts that led to passage of
Under her leadership, MCC secured in 1989 one of nine demonstration grants through the federal National Center of Child Abuse and Neglect to reduce child abuse and strengthen families in an inner-city, racially diverse community. The $1 million dollar, five-year project - Dorchester CARES - became the model for over twenty family support collaboratives across the state.
In 1985 Jetta conceived and oversaw production of the first statewide media campaign fo rtelevision on child sexual abuse prevention. The campaign won international and state awards and was adopted in a dozen states. In the late 80s, she provided the private sector leadership behind development of the first State Plan on child abuse prevention and co-authored "Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource for Policymakers and Advocates" acclaimed as an invaluable prevention tool to guide public policy and prevention programming.
From 1981-84, Jetta was senior staff at Prevent Child Abuse
She was a founder and co-president of the National Parent Aide Association and has served on numerous commissions, including the Governor's Foster Care Commission, the Special Commission on Violence Against Children, and the Governor's Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence.
She received her Masters degree in psychology from