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Possible center in High Point to help abuse victims

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Victims of abuse in High Point may have another place to turn to for help.

The Guildford County Family Justice Center in Greensboro is looking to possibly add a High Point location.

The center located in downtown Greensboro has helped more than 8,000 victims of abuse since it opened in 2015. The director, Catherine Johnson, says most of the people who come there are from Greensboro, but she’s hoping a location in High Point would reach more people there.

”When you've experienced victimization a lot of times it feels like the system can re-victimized you," Johnson said. "It is putting you through extra holes or loopholes, not by any intent but really that's just the various processes."

The Guildford County Family Justice Center is a one-stop shop for children, elderly and adults who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse. Around 15 services are offered under one roof, ranging from legal assistance to medical help.

Johnson says only around 2 percent of the people who come in are from High Point.

”If you're from High Point coming to Greensboro, that's a limitation in itself," Johnson said. "The services they may be receiving through law enforcement, the district attorney's office, through some of the community based resources, they are located in High Point.”

Guilford County Commissioners agreed to let a committee start to look at the possibility of adding the space.

High Point Police Chief Kenneth Shultz says he supports the idea. The city already has a victim justice center, but the new space could be more convenient and help different types of victims.

"Now we would like to consolidate our efforts in the courthouse, ease the access." Shultz said. "We would like to expand our treatment to support elderly folks and children who are being victimized, similar to resources in Greensboro.”

Johnson says it is still very early in the planning process for the possible family justice center in High Point. Cost, the amount of staff and the exact location are all thing that will still need to be discussed.