At the Family Justice Center of Erie County (FJC Erie) it is our mission to deliver comprehensive client services by our staff and partners to address offender accountability, safety, healing and prevention to enable clients and their children to break the cycle and live free from domestic violence.
Family Justice Center - Erie County
"1 IN 3 WOMEN - AND 1 IN 4 MEN - HAVE BEEN IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS, AND 1 IN 5 WOMEN AND 1 IN 7 MEN HAVE FACED SEVERE PHYSICAL VIOLENCE."
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLE
"EASILY ACCESSIBLE SERVICES REMOVE BARRIERS AND EFFECT CHANGE."
"MORE THAN 200,000 PHONE CALLS ARE PLACED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINES EVERY YEAR."
Buffalo Bills ONEBUFFALO Organization
In November 2017, FJC was chosen by the Buffalo Bills as the ONEBUFFALO ORGANIZATION OF THE GAME. The Bills organization produced a 30-second spot that aired during the second half of the game at New Era Field. Bills Running Back, Mike Tolbert, presented FJC Executive Director, Mary Murphy, with a ceremonial game football, days before the actual game. In addition to the ceremonial game ball, The Bills presented FJC with a $2,500 donation.
"IN 2017, FJC-ERIE COUNTY HAS SERVED 2,594 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS; ANSWERED 3,172 HOTLINE CALLS; AND CREATED 1,789 SAFETY PLANS FOR CLIENTS."
S.P.C.A. Annual Radio-thon
On December 11, 2017, FJC was highlighted during the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.P.C.A.) Annual Radio-thon. The daylong simulcast, which was broadcast on WBEN 930 AM and Star 105.2 FM featured a live on-air interview with FJC Executive Director Mary Murphy regarding the organization's “Paws for Love” partnership. The station produced a 30-second high-definition vignette featuring the organization, its leaders and the free services provided to clients.
M&T Bank's Re-Use Program
M&T Bank’s Re-Use Program donated thousands of dollars’ worth of gently used, yet swanky high-end office furniture which allowed the organization to turn their administration offices into showplaces. Our Wish List also included upgraded file cabinets for the Center as well as beautiful storage cabinets. The additional furniture, which was not used in the Center, enabled the team to create an Essential Needs and Food Pantry, one that is now better organized and more visual, for FJC clients in need of basic toiletry items, food and more.
CLIENT SUCCESS STORY
FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER CLIENT SPOTLIGHT
“I didn’t know what to do. The whole episode was so draining, but the Family Justice Center presented me with the choices that I had and how to go about making those decisions.”
- CLARISSA RIAS
FJC was featured in the University of Buffalo’s annual United Way “Campaign for the Community,” which was sent out to thousands of subscribers across Erie County.
It wasn’t until Clarissa began working with the Family Justice Center that she knew the extent to which her relationship had decayed.
"I DIDN'T SEE MYSELF AS BEING IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP," SHE SAID. "I THOUGHT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HAPPENED TO WEAK PEOPLE AND I'M NOT WEAK."
The Family Justice Center filled in the knowledge gaps for Rias and helped her to process the information she learned there and apply it to her personal relationship.
New Client Room Dedications
TWO NEW ROOM DEDICATIONS
Two new client living rooms were dedicated this year. One of the dedications included Meredith’s Room, which was named in memory of 24-year-old Meredith Dickson, who was murdered by her boyfriend in October of 2016. On the one-year anniversary of her death, her father, who is an FJC Board Member and retired FBI Agent, arranged a beautiful memorial service for Meredith at FJC headquarters. More than 100 people attended Meredith’s room dedication which included a luncheon, a ribbon cutting and a family video of Meredith playing the ukulele and singing a cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love.”
The second living room dedication, Ruby’s Room, was named in loving memory of Ruby Stiglemeir who was murdered by her boyfriend in the Spring of 2016. Ruby’s Room is home to our SPCA “Paws For Love” Dog Program when they’re on site for clients who specifically opt for the calming and loving presence of adorable dogs! The ribbon cutting took place on the one-year anniversary of Ruby’s death and was attended by 100 of her friends and relatives.
New Courtroom In A Closet & Medical Unit
FJC was the recipient of two large government grants, thanks in large part to Senators Chris Jacobs and Pat Gallivan. Each of their efforts have helped us secure amenities for our clients – amenities that include our new “Courtroom in a Closet,” which enables us to SKYPE with County Family Court Judges for orders of protection, and money for our Forensic Medical Unit, the only one of its kind in New York State.
In addition to securing government grants, FJC held two separate press conferences, which were held during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
"NEVER, EVER HAVE I MADE A MORE EFFECTIVE INVESTMENT THAN VOLUNTEERING AT, AND DONATING TO, FJC. THE RETURN IS SIMPLY THAT THEY SAVE LIVES. THERE IS NO MORE EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION IN OUR COMMUNITY HELPING FAMILIES ESCAPE AND RECOVER FROM INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE."
FJC IN THE NEWS
CLIENT SUCCESS STORY
Connie, I felt no[one] would help me or was hearing my cr[ies] ... That changed for me today when I met you. I thank you for giving me strength and insight. You gave of yourself and that has helped me to move forward. To not feel afraid or so alone.
- FJC Client
"THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO FOR VICTIMS LIKE MYSELF. AND THANK YOU FOR PROVIDING ME WITH THE INFORMATION TO HELP ME MOVE FORWARD."