About Us

The U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children exists to reduce and eventually end the use of physical (corporal) punishment of children in all venues by all people.

Our Mission

The U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2011 that brings together individuals, groups, and organizations to create a unified voice calling for, and working toward, an end to corporal punishment - an antiquated and dangerous form of disciplining a child - especially in schools and homes.

The Alliance, through education and legal means, seeks to end all social justifications and legal authorizations of corporal punishment. Achieving these goals will give children the same protection from this sort of physical violence that is already enjoyed by adults under state and federal law.

Our Vision

We envision a country where children are loved, valued, respected -- and never hit.

Our Board of Directors

George Holden

President

GEORGE W. HOLDEN, Ph.D., President, is Professor Emeritus at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. After receiving his BA from Yale University and his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he was a member of the psychology faculty at the University of Texas at Austin for 23 years. Holden’s research interests are in the area of social development, with a focus on parent-child relationships. 

His work into the determinants of parental social cognition and behavior, discipline and positive parenting, and the causes and consequences of family violence, has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the Timberlawn Research Foundation, and, most recently, the U.S. State Department. 

He is the author of numerous scientific articles and chapters, as well as author of Parenting: A Dynamic Perspective, 3rd ed. (2020) and Parents and the Dynamics of Child Rearing (1997). In addition, he co-edited Children Exposed to Marital Violence (1998) and the Handbook of Family Measurement Techniques (2001). He is a fellow of the American Psychological Society (APS) and a former member of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), the International Society on the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (ISPCAN), and the Society for Research in Human Development (SRHD), where he served as president. 

He has been on the editorial boards of Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Emotional Abuse, Journal of Family Psychology, and Parenting: Science and Practice. He was a member of State of Texas Task Force to Address the Relationship between Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect (Senate Bill #434). 

He was also on the American Psychological Association’s task force on corporal punishment. Dr. Holden is a past president of the board of Family Compass, an organization devoted to preventing child maltreatment in the Dallas community. He received the Outstanding Mentor Award in 2010 from the Society for Research in Human Development, the Lightner Sams Foundation Child Advocate Prism Award in 2011 from Mental Health of Greater Dallas, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center on the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University, Chicago (2014), and a Distinguished Career Award (2018) from the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN). 

He is married to Anne Cameron and the father of three wonderful adult children and the proud grandfather of two girls and a boy.

Deborah Sendek

Treasurer

Deborah (Deb) Sendek, M.S., Treasurer, served as the Program Director of The Center for Effective Discipline, a program of the National Child Protection Training Center. After working over 30 years with children and families, she is convinced we must take a firm and unified stand against hitting children. 

“Besides the current solid research, common sense tells us our parental task of teaching children right from wrong is inconsistent with a role model of using aggression and force. Let us stand together in our commitment to end the hitting of all children.”

Ellen M. Chiocca

Secretary

Ellen M. Chiocca, MSN, CPNP, RNC-NIC, Secretary, is a PhD student in nursing at the University of Missouri and a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) in Chicago. After earning her BSN from St. Xavier University and MSN from Loyola University Chicago, she was a member of the nursing faculty at Loyola University Chicago for 22 years, and DePaul University for two years. 

Ms. Chiocca’s research interests involve the study of adults’ attitudes and beliefs about the corporal punishment of children. She is a member of the Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA), the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), and the International Society on the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (ISPCAN). She has authored numerous articles and a textbook, Advanced Pediatric Assessment. 

Ms. Chiocca initiated a No Hit Zone in a homeless shelter where she was working as a PNP, and was a researcher on a study that examined health care providers’ attitudes and beliefs about the corporal punishment of children. Ms. Chiocca is married and is the mother of a teenage daughter.

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Madeleine Gómez

Board Member

Madeleine Y. Gómez, Ph.D. is a bilingual, clinical psychologist, mother and grandmother. Dr. Gomez received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University Medical School. She holds numerous behavioral health certifications and additionally is a master herbalist. Dr. Gomez is a presenter, writer and award winning poet. She started a behavioral health company called PsycHealth, Ltd., in 1989, which went on to win multiple best practice awards over the 30 years of her leadership. 

At the start of her career, Dr. Gomez also began working in the field of child rights providing bilingual presentations in the communities of Chicago for the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse. She has served as a past board member for Jordan Riak’s (RIP) advocacy and education group, PTAVE, as well as Nadine Block and Bob Fathman’s, EPOCH-USA. 

She supports child rights to non-violence and positive parenting as integral to both physical, emotional and societal health. Currently, she works to put out the sweet sounds of nu music to the world through her record label, Wake Up! Music, LLC.

Mitch Hall

Board Member

In a diverse career, Mitch Hall has worked as a Peace Corps teacher in Africa; a peace and environmental movement organizer in Europe; a professor, international student adviser, program director, and academic dean in higher education; a French-English interpreter for African refugees; a published writer, translator, and book editor; and a wellness counselor in public health clinics serving disadvantaged, traumatized youth and adults. 

He currently teaches qigong, taiji, meditation, and yoga — practices he began exploring over 50 years ago. With warmth and humor, he teaches these meditative practices as paths for cultivating wellness, relaxation, heart-centeredness, compassion for self and others, presence, a beneficial, healing flow of vital energy, and naturalness. 

He’s a member of The Task Force on Indigenous Psychology and the Nonkilling Psychology Research Committee, a teacher and counselor with The Ancient Way, and a volunteer with the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (aTLC). He served for several years on the Board of Parents and Teachers against Violence in Education. His academic degrees are Ph.D. (h.c.), Alternative Medicines (Indian Board of Alternative Medicines); M.A., Sociology (University of Chicago); B.A., Religion (Columbia University). His website is breathepeacefully.com.

Paul Holinger

Board Member

Paul C. Holinger MD, MPH, is a psychiatrist and a Training and Supervising Analyst and Child and Adolescent Supervising Analyst. Dr Holinger was formerly the Dean of the Institute.

He is a Professor of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Board Certified in Psychiatry and Board Certified in Child/Adolescent and Adult Psychoanalysis, and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Holinger is also co-founder of The Center for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at the Institute.

Following his medical and psychiatric training in Chicago, Dr. Holinger did a Fellowship in Psychiatric Epidemiology in Boston, where he received a Masters of Public Health from the Harvard University School of Public Health. He then did a Fellowship in Psychosocial Public Health at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Subsequently, he obtained adult and child/adolescent psychoanalytic training at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute.

Alex Young

Board Member

Alex Young is a student at the University of Notre Dame, studying political science and government; he is also a passionate changemaker, fervently working to better the community around him. Alex’s dedication to advocacy and service is evident in the indelible mark he has left on Kentucky’s educational landscape.

Leading a mission with unyielding commitment, Alex has long been at the forefront of the movement to eradicate corporal punishment in Kentucky schools. Through strategic lobbying and an adept understanding of policy-making, Alex was instrumental in persuading the Kentucky Board of Education to introduce and implement policies that would diminish this antiquated method of discipline. The results speak for themselves – a staggering 96% decrease in incidents of corporal punishment since Alex began his commendable endeavor.

Beyond his immediate community, Alex’s vision stretches further. Currently a student at the prestigious University of Notre Dame, he is honing his knowledge in political science and government. However, for Alex, this isn’t just academic; it’s a stepping stone to his larger dream. He aspires to build a career in government affairs and public service. His drive and dedication are not just limited to his past accomplishments but are geared towards a future where he can continue making a transformative impact on the communities he serves.

Myranda James

Consulting Program Coordinator
(non-board member)

Myranda James is the Program Coordinator for the U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children. She received her Master’s in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University in 2022, and before that, served as Peace Corps Literacy Volunteer in the Easter Caribbean from 2018 to 2020.

It was this experience that inspired her research on education and children’s rights and ultimately her thesis titled “Examining School Corporal Punishment, the Amplification of Violence Against Children and Indicator of Societal Violence: The Case of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Partnering Organizations

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