The Need 

Over the course of a year, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department will respond to an average of 38,000 domestic violence related calls.  In 2017, our community experienced 15 Intimate Partner Homicides, with an additional 8 homicides being domestic violence related.  This represented 26% of the homicides county-wide.  An average of 38% of homicide suspects have a history of domestic violence in their lifetime.  In 2017 over 3000 Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVPO's) were filed in Mecklenburg County.  The Sexual Assault hotline saw an increase of 29% from the year 2017 to 2018.  Each year 15,000 cases of child abuse are reported in Mecklenburg County.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg is currently taking great strides to help reduce intimate violence incidences in our community but we want and need to do more.  With the incorporation of a Family Justice Center, victims of intimate violence will have a single safe and welcoming place to come and recieve services.  

The Char-Meck Initiative 

Nearly forty participants from Mecklenburg County attended the North Carolina Family Justice Center Conference in December 2017.  The group was inspired by what they learned to explore the possibility of bringing a family justice center to Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  

Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage
We are grateful to the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage for providing funding support for the assessment and planning.

A steering committee was formed to lead in assessment and planning efforts including survivor representation as well as representatives from Safe Alliance, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department,  Pat's Place Child Advocacy Center, Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, Davidson and Matthews Police Departments, the 26th Judicial District and the District Attorney's Office.   You can view the list of steering commitee members below.  
A group of interested community members attended the National Family Justice Center Conference in April.  This experience fueled the desire to bring this trauma informed co-location model to our community. 

On May 23rd and 24th, the Alliance for Hope led a Study Tour to help us access the needs in the community.  They prepared a Study Report which outlines their findings for our community and our readiness to start the Family Justice Center development process.  

The Steering Committee has continually sought input from people across the county by holding 19 community forums; communicating with over 400 individuals; and distributing survivor and community partner surveys.  The Alliance for Hope team reported that we had the highest survey response rate they have ever seen internationally.  In September the Alliance for Hope returned to Charlotte to conduct a two day Strategic Visioning session with over 100 community members participating. A strategic visioning report will be available later this fall.
On January 31st and Feburary 1st, 2019, Safe Alliance and Guilford County co-led a statewide conference for community partners to come together and discuss the Family Justice Center model and Collaborative Communitites initiatives.  Over 330 professionals from around the state were present.  For more information, please click here.   
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