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Family Justice Center Opens to Public

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Rich Luchette, (216) 797-0931
Christopher Harris

Cuyahoga County and City of Cleveland to coordinate assistance for abuse victims

CLEVELAND - Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and Cleveland Municipal Court Administrative and Presiding Judge Ronald B. Adrine joined City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County officials, as well as community stakeholders, this afternoon to formally open the new Family Justice Center that will provide a single location for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse to receive critical services.

“It’s important that all of us work together to end domestic violence and sexual assault and to ensure that we provide victims with the best resources available in their time of need,” said County Executive FitzGerald. “I am grateful for the support this project has received from Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, and especially Judge Ronald B. Adrine, who has worked especially hard to make to make this project a reality.”

The Family Justice Center, located at 75 Erieview Plaza, Suite 500, provides a central location for primary legal and social services, all the while providing a comfortable and safe environment. Both Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland have committed $175,000 annually to run the spacious 13,500 square foot venue. Additional benefits of the Family Justice Center include:

  • One stop center for victims and their children
  • Promotes collaboration, coordinated case management, and increased data and information sharing.
  • Increased victim engagement, which can result in higher rates of prosecution and prevention of re-assault
  • Comprehensive services targeted towards all victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and child/elder abuse

“The new Cuyahoga County family Justice Center is a much needed resource for Cleveland families and children victimized by crime,” added Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. “It is important to our community that resources for those affected by crime be available quickly, easily, and as painlessly as possible. I would like to thank all those involved in making this project happen.”

“After a decade of thinking about this concept and seeing other cities bring Family Justice Centers online, it’s great to see our community’s seven years of hard work come to fruition,” added Judge Adrine. “The Family Justice Center will allow victims of interpersonal violence to address a multitude of crucial needs in one location, as opposed to running all over town to put their lives back together.”

Initial planning funds for the Family Justice Center were obtained through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). Additional funding was provided by Saint Luke’s Foundation for furnishing and items to make the Family Justice Center feel more like a home, and less like an institution.

“Cuyahoga County's Family Justice Center has truly been a labor of love and we are thrilled that our planning and hard work has come to fruition,” said Witness/Victim Service Center & Family Justice Center Manager Jill Smialek. “We've been fortunate to have committed partners, both public and private, who have shared their expertise, and we are confident that we have designed a center that puts victims and their needs first. Ultimately, people will be safer and move on to healthier lives because this center exists."