About

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

Purpose

The Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County serves as a one-stop help center for victims of domestic violence and their children. The FJC is made up of local non-profit and governmental agencies partnered together to help victims and their families quickly and confidentially seek information, and easily access resources to help them escape the cycle of violence. By having these services in one building, victims of domestic violence and their families can more easily receive the help they need. Before the FJC opened, the average individual trying to escape an abusive household had to seek assistance from 20 different locations. The FJC makes a victim’s search for help and justice less burdensome.
Another component of the FJC is S-O-S, the rape crisis center for St. Joseph County. In this community since 1974, S-O-S provides 24-hour crisis intervention, support, and advocacy for victims of rape, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Hospital accompaniment at the area hospital emergency departments is offered with follow-up exams in the sexual assault treatment room at FJC. Support groups and counseling are available on-site. S-O-S also offers risk reduction programs to students in our community that address child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence reaching over 20,000 students each school year. Presentations and training sessions reach community groups, law enforcement and medical personnel round out S-O-S’ comprehensive services.

History

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
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