Family Justice Center planned for Chattanooga: is there a need? - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family Justice Center planned for Chattanooga: is there a need?

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When local victims of domestic or sexual assault have no where else to go some end up at the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, which has served the community for decades.

"We have been and are the community's 24/7, 365 resource for family violence," Partnership Director Sandra Hollett says.

Soon a new Family Justice Center will add to what the Partnership already offers.

"This is a big issue for Chattanooga," Mayor Andy Berke says. "We had 1,525 domestic violence cases in Chattanooga in 2011."

That's more than four every single day, and those are just the ones reported. Governor Bill Haslam wants to put a Family Justice Center in Chattanooga. Hollett drove to Knoxville Tuesday for the big announcement.

"A typical Family Justice Center includes law enforcement, court representation, DA's on site and Partnership does not have those components at this point in time," says Hollett.

The state and federal government help pay for the Partnership, money that could soon go to the Family Justice Center.

"Where we've agreed that we're not going to be redundant in the services that are offered I think we also have to have a commitment that we're not going to be competing for each other's funding," Hollett says.   

In July, Chattanooga received a three year grant to research the benefits of a Family Justice Center.

"We're starting the process of putting together the Family Justice Center. That means making sure that we understand what the needs are, who should be there, where it should be located, how we not create everything ourselves but how we partner with people who are already doing great work in our community and make it the best it can be," says Berke.

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