Story by: LINDSAY TUMAN
HIGH POINT, N.C. — It’s been one year since the Family Justice Center in High Point opened its doors, and int that time they’ve helped thousands of people.
The center serves as a one-stop shop offering a variety of resources during a time of crisis. It could be legal aid, assistance from law enforcement, help getting a restraining order, shelter services, and more. It serves a wide range of people, too.
“Folks come into the Family Justice Center for all sorts of reasons. Things from child abuse, to elder abuse, sexual exploitation, stalking, sexual violence, domestic. And that’s what’s awesome about Family Justice work is this is really a much broader framework. There’s no one type of survivor who walks through our doors, there’s no one story,” Executive director Catherine Johnson said.
On average, a person receives assistance from five different services. All of that care is coordinated to make it easier for the victim as well. So far this year, more than 3,300 people have come into the Family Justice Center in High Point for services.
“I don’t see that as a point of discouragement that we have that much challenge in our community what I see is that it’s a point of opportunity and it’s a point of success of our collaboration. The coordinated work that we’ve done together to really get people where they need to go as quickly as possible. Because that’s what saves lives, that’s what starts someone on the trajectory on a different pathway and that’s our goal as a collaborative,” Johnson said.
The biggest goal for the center is homicide prevention. Countywide since the first Guilford County Family Justice Center opened in Greensboro in 2015, there’s been a 77 percent decrease in domestic violence homicides. The numbers are following that trend in High Point as well.
National statistics show 99 percent of people who come to a Family Justice Center such as the one in High Point live. That’s why the director says it’s important not to wait to come get help.
“I think oftentimes people sit at home and think this isn’t bad enough and so they may negotiate with themselves that they don’t think their situation is bad enough to seek help And we see across the spectrum and the earlier someone seeks resources and support the better able we are to navigate another pathway,” she said
If you need help, there are walk in hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. You can also call the crisis line 24 hours at (336) 273-7273.