Sheriff Mark Pettway on Tuesday announced that the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center in an effort to elevate awareness of the services that One Place offers victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
One Place’s mission is to provide coordinated services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through a multi-disciplinary team of agency professionals who work together under roof. This collaboration will develop and sustain victim assistance service programs within law enforcement-based systems and coordinate partnerships with community-based programs to serve the needs and rights of all crime victims.
“By partnering with One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center, we are ensuring that we fulfill our mission to keep the citizens of Jefferson County safe as well as to protect the rights of all victims of crime,” said Pettway. “Often after experiencing the trauma of domestic violence or sexual assault, victims are unsure of where to go to seek help or to report the violent act against them. One Place helps victims work through the steps of reporting the crime against them from beginning to end so that they get the critical services they need.”
One Place is modeled after the Family Justice Center best practice in the field of domestic violence and prevention by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
DOJ has seen significant outcomes in victim protection from this model, such as reduced homicides, increased victim safety, increase autonomy and empowerment for victims, reduced fear and anxiety, reduced recantation, increased prosecution of offenders and dramatically increased community support for services to victims and their children.
The core concept is to provide one place where victims can go talk to an advocate, plan for their safety, interview with a law-enforcement officer, meet with a prosecutor, receive medical assistance, receive information about shelters and get help with transportation.
One Place offers assistance to anyone who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, as well as to the victim’s children. Last September, One Place received a grant from DOJ to support its mission as a comprehensive service provider for victims and further solidifying the ability to offer critical services to victims in the Birmingham community.