The first Family Justice Center was created in San Diego, California in 2002 through a partnership between the San Diego City Attorney and the San Diego Police Department. It evolved out of a collaborative relationship between community-based domestic violence agencies and criminal justice professionals. The model has since been identified as a best practice in the field of domestic violence intervention and prevention by the U.S. Department of Justice and endorsed by many local and state agencies and elected officials.

Family Justice Centers operate as a “one stop shop” where victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and elder abuse can go to one central location to receive needed services.

Forsyth County has begun the process of establishing a Family Justice Center. The Forsyth Family Justice Center will address domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and elder abuse, by providing co-located services and support for survivors.

In January of 2019, Forsyth County invited the Alliance for HOPE International, the founders of the Family Justice Center movement, to complete a two day Study Tour of Forsyth County. This included a Community Forum at SECCA with a presentation from Community Leaders and Casey Gwinn, President of the Alliance for HOPE International. To see the presentation, download the slideshow below:

The documented and published outcomes from the Family Justice Center model have included: reduced homicides; increased victim safety; increased autonomy and empowerment for victims; reduced fear and anxiety for victims and their children; increased efficiency and coordination among service providers; and reduced recantation and minimization by victims when wrapped in services and support; increased prosecution of offenders; and dramatically increased community support services to victims and their children.

You can read more about the International Family Justice Center movement at http://familyjusticecenter.org.

Representation from all North Carolina FJC’s were present at the first co-location research summit for Family Justice Centers in North Carolina in November, 2018.