Story by: Cinde Ingram

GUILFORD COUNTY — The Guilford County Family Justice Center launched a new web-based chat feature this week along with other specialized COVID-19 safety resources for anyone facing violence and abuse.

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the FJC created an online chat feature that anyone can access from a smartphone or computer. Victims, survivors and community members can connect with an FJC navigator via the website at www.guilfordcountync.gov/our-county/family-justice-center.

“For many, the safest place to be right now is home. However, for those experiencing violence and abuse, it can be hard to escape for a moment to make a call for help or leave the home to seek services,” said Catherine Johnson, FJC director. “Isolation is a powerful abuse tactic and can create major risks for victims.”

The new chat feature is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. FJC locations in High Point and Greensboro are open during those hours to coordinate the emergency and safety needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse and child abuse. Walk-in hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., with afternoon hours reserved for emergency appointments. For after-hours help, contact 911 or the 24-hour crisis hotline of Family Service of the Piedmont at 336-273-7273.

Services provided at FJC through partnerships with local agencies include safety planning, filing for emergency protective orders, talking with law enforcement and legal consultation.

“One significant risk related to isolation is that victims may be cut off from their support systems, such as friends, family and coworkers,” Johnson said. “FJC partners want victims to know that help is still available.”

cingram@hpenews.com | 336-888-3534 | @HPEcinde

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