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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
May 25, 2007

Mrs. Bush's Statement to the Media During a Visit to the Childhelp Children's Advocacy Center
Childhelp Children's Advocacy Center
Phoenix, Arizona

photos  Photos

1:16 P.M. MST

MRS. BUSH: All right, let me just say something to all of you here. Thank you for coming out to cover my visit here. One of the things that I've been working on since the President's 2005 State of the Union address is the Helping America's Youth Initiative. And it's been such a privilege for me to have the opportunity to visit places like this and meet people like these women who have dedicated their life to helping abused and neglected children.

Mrs. Laura Bush speaks to the media during her visit Friday, May 25, 2007, to the Childhelp Children's Advocacy Center in Phoenix. Mrs. Bush commended the work of organizations that serve abused or neglected children, and highlighted the role that caring adults can play in preventing and reporting child abuse. White House photo by Shealah Craighead I visit the programs around the United States that are really examples for the rest of the country, and this is certainly one of them -- both because of the one-stop shopping, where you have both medical professionals, law enforcement, county attorney people here, therapists -- everyone here, because the trauma of child abuse and neglect is so unbelievable on children. Then to be able to come to one place and be welcomed and see what this is and forget for a minute your sadness, because you can see the train going around here, or the great rooms, the great things that are here, and then for their parents also to have this opportunity to come here and do everything, have all of your -- medical exam, talk to the detectives -- all of the things that you would need to do, to be able to do it in one place, at one time. It's just so much easier on these families who have children who are having either some kind of problem. Obviously we're talking about the family where the parents are not the abusers, but there are also children that come here whose parents are their abusers.

One of the other really good benefits of everyone being here together is that everyone learns from each other. The medical people learn from the police, for instance. The synergy of having every group here, working to help children, really is a benefit for all the children here in Phoenix.

So I want to congratulate both of you for your unbelievable work that you've done all these years. And, as you can tell, my mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, is very, very interested in Childhelp.

MS. FEDDERSON: She's on our advisory board.

MRS. BUSH: She's on their advisory board, and she was one of the ones that really hoped I would have a chance to visit a Childhelp center. They're all over the United States, but they're not everywhere that we would want them to be. And it's a great idea that I know they'd be thrilled if other communities wanted to just copy them and do the same sort of thing.

MS. O'MEARA: We would help them, gladly.

MRS. BUSH: So I think that's really terrific. Thank you all for coming out.

MS. O'MEARA: Barbara's picture is up at the library here. When she came in to dedicate this library, she helped us raise the money for it. And we're going to have Mrs. Laura's picture, too, right, side by side, so that it will make it even more important.

Mrs. Laura Bush pauses to talk with Phoenix Police officers Friday, May 25, 2007, after stopping at the Childhelp Children's Advocacy Center during her Southwest visit. White House photo by Shealah Craighead MRS. BUSH: That's perfect. All right, thanks, everybody. Thank you all for coming out.

END 1:19 P.M. MST

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