Story by: Whitney Hines

MACON, Ga. — The Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia has been awarded a $400,000 federal grant to establish a family justice center in Macon.

The center will work to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.

The funds will be distributed over four years and will also support a site coordinator who will oversee the planning and opening of the center by early 2023.

“Once the Family Justice Center opens, there will be one location where local residents experiencing abuse can go to access life-saving services from a variety of non-profit organizations and criminal justice agencies, who will each have a representative located in the Center,” Crisis Line & Safe House Executive Director Dee Simms said. “We hope this new model of providing services will alleviate many of the obstacles that hinder victims from reaching our doors, such as traveling to multiple locations to receive services and repeating their story over and over again.”

The family justice center model has been named the best practice in the field of domestic violence intervention and prevention by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. Outcomes include reduced homicides, increased victim safety, reduced fear and anxiety for victims and children, and more.

“We truly believe the family justice center will help us coordinate and integrate our services and our partners’ services so we can reach more people in our community who need help” Simms said.

The grant was awarded by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council under the Family Justice Center Initiative.

Only one other county in Georgia currently has a family justice center.

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