The Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County, a one-stop help center for victims of domestic violence and their children, is marking the 10th anniversary of its founding with public events and training sessions as it hosts the National Family Justice Center Initiative Wednesday through Friday.
Public events planned in the coming days at Indiana University-South Bend include:
Thursday, 8:30-10 a.m.: Strategic planning session to invigorate partners’ support for the center and develop goals. Community members, law-enforcement officials, local attorneys, medical providers and social services providers are invited.
Thursday, 9.a.m.: Keynote speaker Casey Gwinn, attorney and president of the National Family Justice Center Alliance, will address the importance of Family Justice Centers in breaking the vicious generational cycle of family violence. American Lawyer magazine has recognized Gwinn as one of the top 45 public lawyers in the United States.
Friday, 8:30 a.m.: Daylong strangulation case training conducted by Gwinn, Dr. Dean Hawley of Indiana University School of Medicine, and Gael Strack, attorney and CEO of the National Family Justice Center Alliance.
Community leaders interested in participating in strategic planning or strangulation case training sessions should contact Jessica McBrier with the St. Joseph County prosecutor's office at 574-235-9919, or firstname.lastname@example.org, for questions and to register. Lunch will be provided. Event parking is available in Lots A & 0 off Esther Street.
The Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County received its start from a program, created under the administration of President George W. Bush, known as the Family Justice Center Initiative. In 2004, the Office of Violence Against Women identified St. Joseph County as one of 15 pilot sites nationwide out of 400 applicants. The center opened its doors in 2007.
The FJC is made up of local nonprofit and governmental agencies that partner to help victims and their families quickly and confidentially seek information and easily access resources to help them escape the cycle of violence. The St. Joseph Center is one of 80 Family Justice Centers nationwide, and one of just two in Indiana. The Julian Center in Indianapolis is the state’s other Family Justice Center.