Why a Family Justice Center?Adult and child victims of interpersonal violence must often navigate multiple, complex systems in order to access services.
Children and adults alike may be required to tell their story multiple times each time exposing them to renewed trauma; or they may be forced to miss multiple days of school or work as they meet with different service providers throughout the county.
For many, the effort to receive services may be too confusing, overwhelming, or dangerous, leading them to lose hope and, too often, return to an abusive home.
Victims are best served when public and private sector agencies enter into deep, meaningful collaboration, housing themselves in a single Family Justice Center or similar multi-agency location, sharing information to better coordinate care, and ensuring the system works effectively for those in need.
What is a Family Justice Center?
- A Family Justice Center is a victim-centered, trauma-informed model in which multiple domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, human trafficking and child abuse partners are co-located and work in collaboration with each other so that victims and their children access all of the services that they need in a single place--advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, counselors, representatives of the faith community, healthcare providers, and others all under one roof.
- The first Family Justice Center was founded in San Diego in 2002. Due to its success the model has been replicated over 120 times internationally.
- Documented outcomes of Family Justice Centers include significantly reduced domestic violence-related homicides, increased victim safety, helping to break the cycle of violence for children, increased efficiency in collaborative services to victims among service providers, and increased prosecution of offenders.
- There are a number of Family Justice Centers and co-located service models in North Carolina including in Alamance, Buncombe, and Guilford Counties.
- The Alliance for Hope is the national organization for Family Justice Centers that provides training and technical assistance to communities as they develop their own centers.
- In 2005 Congress added Family Justice Centers into the Federal Violence against Women Act as a specialized purpose area designed to promote collaborative models of service delivery for victims of domestic and sexual abuse further promoting the Family Justice Center model across the United States.