FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
FIRST FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER OPENS IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The New York City Family Justice Center opened its doors today, the Justice Department and the City of New York announced. The center, located in Brooklyn, New York, is the first center of its kind to be opened under President Bush’s Family Justice Center Initiative, and is located in one of 15 communities chosen under the President’s initiative to prevent and respond to violence against women. The President’s Family Justice Center Initiative which was unveiled by President Bush in October 2003 and funded by the Justice Department, is an unprecedented pilot program designed to make a victim’s search for assistance more effective by bringing the necessary services together under one roof. The Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is guiding this pilot program with the goal of creating these support centers in 15 communities across the nation.
“Offering centralized, comprehensive, and compassionate services to domestic violence victims is an example of the coordinated community response at its best,” said Diane M. Stuart, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women. “Whether it’s obtaining a protection order, talking to an advocate, or meeting with a prosecutor, these centers will enable victims to get the assistance they need to put their lives and their children’s lives back on track.”
The services designed to help these victims are often scattered throughout communities. Centers like the New York Family Justice Center are designed to bring together various components, including victim advocates; law enforcement officers; prosecutors; probation officers; forensic medical professionals; civil legal attorneys; chaplains; and representatives from community-based organizations into one centralized location to better serve victims of abuse.
The New York Family Justice Center is currently receiving assistance from family justice centers pioneered in San Diego, CA; Indianapolis, IN; and Hennepin County, MN, to aid in the comprehensive development of its own center. Additionally, the National Network to End Domestic Violence is providing the New York Family Justice Center with assistance in technology and victim safety.
More information about the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative and other initiatives involving the Office on Violence Against Women is available on OVW’s website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo <http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo>.