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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Contact:
Christy Peters, Administration Chief, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, (360) 786-5540 x6256 or petersc@co.thurston.wa.us

New Partnership Forms Family Justice Center


OLYMPIA -Thurston County Clerk Betty Gould, Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza, Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim, and the Executive Director of the Family Support Center Schelli Slaughter, are pleased to announce a new partnership, the Thurston County Family Justice Center. The Family Justice Center will provide advocacy for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in criminal cases, assist with civil protection orders and civil family law matters, and provide referrals to social and other support services.

Staff from the County Prosecutor's Office, the County Clerk, and the County Sheriff's Office will be available to assist clients at the Family Support Center building, which is less than two blocks from the Olympia Transit Center at 108 State Street. Staff from the Northwest Justice Project and the Family Support Center of South Sound will also be located at the new center.

"We are proud to welcome the Thurston County Family Justice Center to the Family Support Center both as a partner and as a new service provider in our building", says Schelli Slaughter, Executive Director of the Family Support Center. "The Family Support Center was founded to strengthen families in our community by offering an array of collaborative, coordinated, client-centered services under one roof. The Thurston County Family Justice Center perfectly complements this best practice model and will fulfill a critical need for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who seek co-located services."

The Thurston County Family Justice Center gathers together law enforcement, legal experts, victim advocates and social service providers in one place, making it easier for domestic violence and sexual assault victims to begin to rebuild their lives with protection orders, emergency housing, child care resources, and other legal and social services. A recent client said, "It has been two years since my assault. All the professionals connected with the Family Justice Center have continued to help me through the healing process and now I am back to being myself."

"It's important to have a collaborative and coordinated approach for domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking cases," said Jon Tunheim, Prosecuting Attorney. "Victims may become intimidated and discouraged if they are forced to go to six or eight different places and talk to a dozen different people to get basic help. Having one office in downtown Olympia makes it easier for victims to access the justice they deserve and rebuild their lives." The Thurston County Family Justice Center also offers monthly outreach clinics in Rochester and Yelm.

WHAT: Thurston County Family Justice Center
WHEN: Regular business hours are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: 108 State Avenue S.W., Olympia, WA 98501, 2nd Floor
PHONE: 360 915-8940


For more information about the new Thurston County Family Justice Center and information about services and assistance for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, visit the Thurston County Family Justice Center web page at www.thurstoncountyfjc.org.



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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3