Family Justice Center serves 5,000 in first year

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- In 2013 and 2014, Guilford County led the state with the most domestic violence murders of any county.

"It's not like we can just come in here and stop today, it's ongoing every day. One in four. One in four are being affected by domestic violence every day," said Brenda White, a domestic violence survivor.

Brenda is a victim turned survivor. She was stabbed 10 times by her ex-husband and when she needed help, it was hard to find.

"I was still bruised and traumatized and not knowing where I had to go from that point, I was all over the place like a bouncing ball. So to have the justice center in place is one stop shop for that," White remembers.

Since the Guilford County Family Justice Center opened last year, 5,000 people like Brenda found help and healing in one welcoming and convenient place.

"Those 5,000 did not get one service they had access to 10, 15 services so the comprehensive services that one person got far outweigh the one maybe two services they would have received prior to the center opening and that is the wow factor to me," says Catherine Johnson, Director of the Family Justice Center.

Domestic violence victims have found services like counseling, access to police, legal help and assistance navigating the court system at the center. In the last year, 700 people filed electronic restraining orders-- a process that once took several hours and locations.

White now volunteers at the center and says she wants more people who face domestic violence to get help there. She says they should even consider extending the hours.

"Outreach is something that we need to do to make sure that they understand because a lot of people still don't understand that the justice center is here and exactly what it means," White said.

White's ex-husband was convicted and is now serving a 49-year sentence. The folks at the Family Justice Center say even though they've reached the one-year milestone, they are still in the launch phase and know there is more work to be done.

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