By Desiree Taylor, Outreach Coordinator, One Place Family Justice Center
“I need help …,” are the first words often heard through a white wall mounted telephone near a glass window of a red bricked building. The calming voice on the receiver’s end asks a few more questions about the caller’s situation before letting him/her inside. Once inside, the caller is greeted by friendly, compassionate faces, ready to help.
One Place Family Justice Center serves as a crisis center, providing full immediate crisis services, safety, advocacy and case management services, including legal and criminal justice assistance all under one roof. For many victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, human trafficking or child and elder abuse, One Place serves as a crucial lifeline to breaking free from an abusive situation.
One Place is where victims can: plan for their safety, have an advocate, talk with a police officer, meet with a prosecutor, obtain emergency shelter referrals, and receive 24-hour sexual assault services. One Place Family Justice Center provides full advocacy and crisis services to victims living across Montgomery, Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Crenshaw, Elmore, and Lowndes counties. Sexual assault services are also provided for victims living in Dallas, Perry, and Wilcox counties.
Marjorie S. Baker, One Place Executive Director, believes family justice centers are crucial to any community.
“Family Justice Centers such as One Place, have a proven record of reducing homicides, which cost communities an estimated one million dollars per homicide,” Baker said, who has been with One Place since 2019. “This model has been identified as the best practice in the field of domestic violence intervention and prevention services. As a community, we must work towards ending family violence and sexual assault.”
Eddie D. Compton III, One Place Board of Directors President, states that One Place is ready to “listen to and help” victims.
“Everybody deserves relationship free from domestic and sexual violence,” Compton said. “The One Place Family Justice Center is here to help you. Saving lives and helping victims regain their voice, is what we do … Our staff are silent heroes. They are the brave workers that risk their lives to save others.”
With four onsite partners – the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery Police Department-DV Bureau, Legal Services Alabama, inc., Jones School of Law and access to the City of Montgomery Magistrate, as well as nearly 30 community partners, victims can find the help and hope they need for a better life.
The vision of One Place continues to be: reducing homicides, increasing the safety of, and empowering, victims; reducing recantation and minimization; wrapping the victim in services and holding offenders accountable.
Help and Hope begin at One Place for victims of family violence and sexual assault. If you are a victim of violence or abuse, please call 334.262.7378 or visit oneplacefjc.org. If you are a victim of sexual assault/rape, please call the One Place’s Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 334.213.1227.
All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2021.