Family Safety Center to Serve as Model
(Memphis) Any resource a domestic violence victim would need for help and safety is in one room at the Family Safety Center.
“If a victim comes here she can get safety planning, she can talk to the police, and she can get an advocate that can go to court with her if she needs to,” said executive director Olliette Murry-Drobot.
A victim can even file a restraining order or get counseling, and it’s all private.
There’s even a safe place for a victim’s kids to play.
More than a thousand people have come to the center since it opened in January.
Nashville is taking notice and coming to see about building its own.
“They’re going to see the amount of support. This is a community wide effort,” said Murry-Drobot.
There are twenty-four partner agencies under the roof at the center.
Police expect more than 20,000 cases of domestic violence in Memphis this year.
That’s an average of almost 400 cases a week.
The center says that number is growing because of awareness programs, and more victims are reporting the crimes and searching for safety.
“I want women to see you can get out. You can start again. You can be new, and you can be that beautiful person you once were,” said Gwendolyn Turner.
Turner was a victim of domestic violence for twenty years and now works at the center.
She knows from experience a crisis center needs to be one stop shopping.
“Once a woman or a victim gets the energy or nerve to get out of that situation things need to happen right then,” said Turner.
It costs about a million dollars a year to keep the center open, and they get most of their funding comes from the state, private companies and individual donations.