FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER
2018-2019 Annual Report
"EASILY ACCESSIBLE SERVICES REMOVE BARRIERS AND EFFECT CHANGE. IT'S OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLE AND WHY WE WORK TO DELIVER COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES THAT HELP OUR CLIENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN TO BREAK THE CYCLE AND LIVE FREE FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE."
1 IN 4 WOMEN AND 1 IN 7 MEN HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF SEVERE PHYSICAL VIOLENCE BY AN INTIMATE
PARTNER IN THEIR
REACH OUT: RECOGNIZE RELATIONSHIP ABUSE
Made possible by the support of our friends at West Herr Automotive, FJC partnered with WNED | WBFO -TV, to raise awareness about unhealthy relationships among teens and young adults with the Reach Out initiative. A fresh new website, full of resources for parents, teens, teachers, and the like, was built and launched in October 2018. Along with the website, a 30-minute feature was produced and aired on WNED throughout the Fall with commentary from FJC advocates, staff, survivors, and experts.
Since the launch, FJC CEO, Mary Murphy, and a team of survivors and ambassadors have presented at dozens of schools throughout Western New York (WNY), discussing what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like, as well as how best to start the conversation if you notice any red flags in a friend or a student.
“PEOPLE AREN'T ALWAYS IN A ‘DOMESTIC’ SITUATION. ESPECIALLY WHEN WE'RE LOOKING AT THE TEEN POPULATION: BECAUSE THEY'RE USUALLY NOT LIVING TOGETHER AS A COUPLE. WHEN WE'RE LOOKING AT TEEN DATING, 'RELATIONSHIP ABUSE' WOULD BE A MORE ACCURATE TERM."
- SHARON MORGAN, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR
2018 STATS + FACTS
TOTAL NUMBER OF NEW CLIENTS
SEEN THIS YEAR
SAFETY PLANS WRITTEN
TOTAL SAFELINE CALLS
NEW SATELLITE OFFICE IN GRAND ISLAND
In June 2018, FJC opened its latest satellite office in Grand Island, N.Y. Currently co-located with Sheridan Medical Group, FJC has plans to move into a permanent space in the near future.
FJC OFFERS CLIENT SERVICES ON BUFFALO'S EAST SIDE
FJC now offers client services to those residing on the East Side of Buffalo. Through a partnership with Harvest House, FJC advocate, Jennifer Elliott, is now co-located at Harvest House once per week, where she meets one-on-one with clients experiencing abuse.
“With this partnership, the community not only has access to low cost/free medical care, baby ministry, and educational opportunities but domestic violence support as well. As one of the barriers that prevent potential clients from receiving and/or continuing services, clients can speak with me regarding their situations and receive a safety plan, information regarding court process and procedures, and resources needed to provide a safer environment. "
- JENNIFER ELLIOTT, FJC ADVOCATE
“[I] ABSOLUTELY FELT TREATED WELL AT FJC! EVERYONE
INVOLVED IN MY SERVICE PROCESS WAS FRIENDLY, RESPECTFUL, AND PERSONABLE; MAKING THIS
PROCESS EASIER TO COMPLETE. FOR THIS, I WANT TO THANK [YOU] ALL. I THANK EVERYONE.”
- FJC CLIENT
COOKING FOR CLIENTS!
Dave Nuzzo, FJC volunteer, and cook, secured funding and started a new program with the FJC, “Cooking for Clients!” Preparing and freezing nutritious meals from his commercial kitchen at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Williamsville, Dave makes weekly deliveries to FJC satellite locations. Meals included soups, entrees, and desserts to share with clients at no cost to them. While the Center has an on-site food pantry to assist clients, David’s meals offer something even better – a hot meal that not only fills our client’s stomachs but also warms their hearts. Thank you so much Dave for everything that you do!
“I believe food is simply more than sustenance. When someone prepares a meal for you, it feels nice - it does your soul and spirit good. I felt it would be great if FJC clients left with a few meals so they don’t have to worry about feeding their kids for a few days as they get their feet back under them. Often, victims of domestic abuse are made to feel like they have little worth. I hope putting in a bit of effort to make meals for them, lets them know we feel they are worthwhile."
- DAVE NUZZO
Special thanks to donors Bill Hein and Kevin Marmion, of the Wm. S. Hein. Co., Inc., for donating funds to get Cooking for Clients! up and running.
THANK YOU FJC-ERIE COUNTY FOR MAKING ME FEEL STRONGER! BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU DO, I FEEL SECURE HERE, WITH NO PRESSURES.
ADVOCATING AT FAMILY COURT
Tara Andres, FJC advocate, moved into an office at Erie County Family Court in November of 2018. By co-locating at Family Court, Tara is able to help clients navigate their court proceedings and talk with new clients who are referred by Court staff.
NEARLY 20 PEOPLE
PER MINUTE ARE
PHYSICALLY ABUSED BY AN INTIMATE
PARTNER IN THE UNITED STATES.
A SURVIVOR'S STORY: MEET LAURA
It was 2:00 a.m. when the door to the house opened.
“Why am I not surprised?!” he yelled, as the refrigerator door slammed.
I crept downstairs to the kitchen. As usual, he was intoxicated. I should have known better, but I did it anyway: I asked him where he had been, and to please quiet down as I’d just gotten our baby to sleep.
I was exhausted.
“How many times do I have to tell you that I don't like that kind of cheese!?!” he said angrily.
"I NEVER CONSIDERED MYSELF TO BE IN A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SITUATION, LET ALONE A 'VICTIM'."
More words were exchanged and one thing led to another. Before I know it, I am on the ground getting my hair pulled, being punched in the stomach, and kicked in my head by his steel-toed work boots. It was the first time I actually thought I could die.
I began flailing my arms in the air searching desperately for a way to get him to stop. Eventually, I found the “sweet spot” and I brought him to his knees. Without thinking, I got up and called 911. I feared for my life.
When the Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived, I knew all of them. Immediately I was embarrassed and regretted calling them. My dirty little secret had finally been revealed.
I AM A
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS
The FJC would like to thank our many volunteers for all they do for us! Whether you are a weekly volunteer at an FJC location, one of our ambassadors, someone who volunteers to help with fundraising and events, a volunteer who helps to collect donations for our essential needs pantries, or in any other capacity: THANK YOU! Thank you for choosing to give your valuable time to support the Family Justice Center and the domestic abuse victims who seek safety.
NEW YORK STATE UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM'S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SYMPOSIUM
FJC CEO Mary Murphy, along with three FJC volunteers and survivors, attended the NY State Unified Court System’s Domestic Violence Symposium in November. Focusing on best practices in the Court system, these FJC representatives presented a panel discussion on how New York’s Domestic Violence and Integrated DV Courts can meet the needs of survivors through the judicial process. Moderated by Hon. Judy Kluger, who oversaw the design and implementation of these courts, Mary and the survivors shared their experiences with the Court system.
This panel discussion was enlightening and helpful for the audience, which included Judges and Court Staff from around the state. Meeting at the Brooklyn Law School, this symposium was a worthwhile way to share the FJC’s expertise, and advocate for change.
FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER ROOM DEDICATIONS: JILL CAYHILL
Jill Russell Cayhill was an avid gardener, with a gentle soul and a beautiful spirit. All things you can definitely sense in Jily’s Room. Dedicated in April of 2018, Jilly’s Room is a beautiful sanctuary designed as a respite for self-care for all dedicated volunteers, staff, and partners who work at the Center. Jill’s sister, Debra Jaeger, a long-time friend and supporter of the Family Justice Center designed the room. The room was put together with financial support from her employer, Praxair (Linde), in honor of Deb’s retirement.
ANGIE'S ROOM DEDICATION
On May 12, friends and family of Angela Moss gathered at the FJC’s downtown location to remember their loved one, and dedicate a client living room in her honor. Angela was brutally murdered in 2012 by her boyfriend, who was brought to justice in 2016 after a long and complex trial with multiple charges. “Angie’s Room” was carefully designed and curated by volunteer designer Dionne Williamson, founder of Upward Design for Life. The room truly captures Angie’s spirit and style, and though she was never an FJC client, her family hopes that the room will provide comfort, healing, and hope to others who need services.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE FELLOWSHIP: MEET BEATRICE SAKALA
Beatrice Sakala joined the FJC in August, for a four-month Community Solutions Program. Hailing from Katete, located in an Eastern province of Zambia, Beatrice joined the FJC to learn and share best practices in the field.