Story By: Special to the Oak Ridger
Women’s Interfaith Dialogue will host a virtual presentation detailing the plans of the Anderson County Family Justice Center Project. Melissa Miller, Site Coordinator for the future center, and Detective Wendy Zolkowski of the Oak Ridge Police Department, are the guest speakers. The presentation will be held on Monday, Oct. 5. Attendees are encouraged to join via the Internet promptly by 10:50 a.m. that day.
Initiated by District Attorney General Dave Clark and funded through a grant, the project’s purpose is to create a center to house agencies that will work together in a network to offer comprehensive aid to victims of abuse, a news release stated. The agencies will provide free and confidential services to victims of domestic violence, elder abuse and sexual assault, as well as to victims of child abuse.
By locating the agencies together, the center will improve interagency communication and coordination of services. Moreover, victim-survivors will be able to escape abuse more readily, and it will be easier to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. The ACFJC is slated to open and be ready to serve clients in July 2021.
In addition to discussing plans for the family justice center, Miller will share information about COVID-19 and domestic violence in Anderson County. Zolkowski will talk about issues related to elder abuse.
Miller holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in history, in addition to a secondary education teaching credential in social studies from the University of California, Fullerton. Miller came to her current position with the 7th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office after serving as the victim advocate with YWCA Anderson County, working on behalf of victims of domestic violence. Previously, she worked with CASA of East Tennessee, first as a volunteer advocate for children in abuse and neglect cases and next in a staff position as the CASA Recruitment and Training Coordinator.
Zolkowski earned a master’s degree in public administration from California State University Northridge. Before moving to Oak Ridge in 2018, she retired after nearly 27 years of service in the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, where she started as an officer at the largest jail in the United States, then became a detective in South Central Los Angeles and later worked in the gang unit known as Operation Safe Streets.
Women’s Interfaith Dialogue welcomes the public to attend the presentation on Monday, Oct. 5. To receive a link for the virtual session, send a request to Gay Marie Logsdon at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4.