Story by: BRIAN FOLEY
Thursday night in New Haven, city leaders and community members had a kick-off event for the HOPE Family Justice Center in New Haven, slated to open in spring of 2019. While violence around the state is on the decline, domestic violence calls for the New Haven Police Department are on the rise.
A new service in New Haven will help the victims and police safely navigate these incidents.
Julie Johnson, Project Coordinator of the Hope Family Justice Center, explained why and how the center will function.
“Often times domestic violence victims have to seek services at multiple agencies. Throughout the community, sometimes they have to take public transportation. So, it’s not easy for them to go from one agency to another. It becomes frustrating. So, this opportunity would be for them to go to one location and receive all the services at one time during one day.”
Domestic violence victims often stay in abusive relationships because of the difficulties they face in leaving their partner. This center will remove some of the hurdles for victims to leave an abusive relationship.
Esperina Stubblefield, the Director of the Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services talked of coordination of services.
“With the partners that will have on site they will be able to in one day see a counselor see a police officer, see a lawyer if need be. And we would also have services for their children.”
New Haven Police Chief Campbell hopes that victims can visit the center, engage with police, and together get services to ensure their family’s safety.
“This Hope Family Justice Center will provide one-stop shopping. They will be staffed with police officers who will be able to take their reports right then and there, victim advocate right then and there.”
This type of family violence center is a nationally tested model and best practice for Domestic Violence prevention and intervention. Their hope is to be up and running and helping victims by springtime 2019.