Vision Statement

Our vision is to create a future where: ALL needs of victims are met; children are protected; violence is stopped; batterers are held accountable; violence fades; economic justice increases; families heal and thrive; HOPE is realized; and we ALL work together.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to stop intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and abuse; make victims safer, hold batterer’s accountable; provide long-term support for victims, survivors and their children through collaboration and coordinated services.

Family Justice Center Guiding Principles

The Family Justice Center Guiding Principles, developed by the Alliance Advisory Board, are the fundamental values that should direct the vision, service delivery, and environment of a Family Justice Center.

  • Safety-Focused: Increase safety, promote healing, and foster empowerment through services for victims and their children
  • Victim-Centered: Provide victim-centered services that promote victim autonomy
  • Culturally Competent: Commitment to the utilization of culturally competent service approaches that are measurable and behavior-based
  • Intervene and Prevent: Engage all communities through outreach and community education
  • Survivor-Driven: Shapes services to clients by asking them what they need
  • Transformative (willing to change): Evaluate and adjust services by including survivor input and evidence-based best practices
  • Relationship-Based: Maintain close working relationships among all collaborators/agencies (law enforcement, prosecution, community-based domestic violence programs, shelters and other social services
  • Prevention-Orientated: Integrate primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention approaches into all initiatives, programs & projects
  • Kind-Hearted: Develop a Family Justice Center community that values, affirms, recognizes and supports staff, volunteers, and clients
  • Empowered: Offer survivors a place to belong even after crisis intervention services are no longer necessary
  • Offender Accountability: Increase offender accountability through evidence-based prosecution strategies


The FJC received its start from a program, created under the administration of President George W. Bush, known as the Family Justice Center Initiative. This initiative began in October of 2003, as a program to start up and aid 15 different centers to serve victims of domestic violence throughout the country. In 2004, the Office of Violence Against Women identified St. Joseph County as the last of these 15 pilot sites nationwide, out of 400 applicants, to receive financial support from the federal government. The St. Joseph County Center officially opened its doors to the public on February 22, 2007 and since then has been helping to eradicate all forms of domestic violence.