The City of Norfolk opened Virginia’s first Norfolk Family Justice Center recently in downtown Norfolk. The multi-agency resource center focuses on helping physical and sexual abuse victims get all the resources they need under one roof.
Located on the 6th floor of 500 Plume Street in Norfolk are representatives of the following agencies: Chesapeake Forensic Specialists, Norfolk Department of Human Services, Norfolk Police Department, Office of the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney and YWCA South Hampton Roads. These agencies have joined forces to provide services to advocate and protect victims.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) are providing funding for the center, according to city officials. Kristen Pine, Chief Programs Officer of YWCA South Hampton Roads and the Co-Director of the Norfolk Family Justice Center, says physical and sexual abuse victims often miss out on crucial services. If or when victims are ready to take legal action, lawyers like Krista Fulton with the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney will be available at the center to help them.
Fulton, who is the other Co-Director of the Norfolk Family Justice Center, says many people decide not to take legal action, but they have lawyers who can talk to victims on site and prosecute offenders – free of charge.
The YWCA Crisis Hotline is available 24/7 and can victims can speak with a victim advocate to help them identify available services. The number is (757) 251-0144.