FAQ

Questions From Clients

Do I need an appointment?

You do not need an appointment, but we recommend that you do in order to ensure that an advocate will be available to meet with you. To make an appointment, simply call us at 574-234-6900. We welcome and will do our best to serve walk-ins!

Where do I park?

You can park in the lot adjacent to the building. Parking is free. Security cameras monitor the lot.

Can I bring my children with me?

Yes, you may bring your children. There is a safe space for them to play or watch a movie. Please note that supervision is not guaranteed.

May I bring a friend with me for support?

Yes, you can bring a friend. However, when you talk to one of our professionals on-site your friend may be asked to wait for you in another room.

What should I expect when I get to the FJC?

For your safety, we screen every person that enters the building. If you call and make an appointment, we will screen you before you arrive. However, if you come to the FJC without calling ahead, you will have to wait for a few minutes for us to complete that check before you enter.

Your first appointment at the FJC will be about an hour and a half long. During this appointment, you and your advocate will discuss ways that you can keep yourself safe and how the FJC can assist you in doing so. From there, your advocate can make referrals or make a follow-up appointment for a protective order, counseling, or other services.

What kind of services are offered at the FJC?

Read about services offered here.

Questions From Supporters

What is the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative?

It is a pilot program of the Office of Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, to establish 15 comprehensive domestic violence victim support centers throughout the country. The centers bring together under one roof service providers from many organizations – domestic violence victim services, prosecution, probation, law enforcement, medical services, civil legal assistance, chaplains and other community-based services

Why create such an initiative?

The goal is to improve access to services for victims. Because victims who want to leave an abusive relationship have to tell their story over and over again to professionals who may be scattered throughout a community, the frequently do not seek the help they need. To get the support necessary to escape their situation, survivors typically need to visit at least 20 different offices, often with children in tow, and typically at the most dangerous point in the abusive relationship – the time of leaving. The FJC concept facilitates the search for help and justice by bringing the services together under one roof.

What do we know about victims of domestic violence locally?

In St. Joseph County, police respond to approximately 8,000 domestic violence calls a year. Since the Department of Justice estimates that only 54% of the intimate partner violence is reported to authorities, it is reasonable to assume there are at least 16,000 local incidental of domestic violence annually. Most victims are women. Most have children. Victims come from all walks of life, income levels, races and religions.