EL CENTRO – Creating a significant milestone in the way victims of domestic and sexual violence receive services in Imperial County, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the new Imperial County Family Justice Center and act as the governing body of the facility during the Tuesday regular board meeting.
The creation of the Imperial County Family Justice Center (ICFJC) was a result of recognizing that victims in our community often must travel to several different locations to obtain help and are forced to tell their stories numerous times to various people, Peggy Price, Director of Social Services, told the board.
“Victims and their journey for services were very daunting and very traumatic to a point where some of them stopped seeking services because the symptoms were difficult to accept,” said Price.
In response, the ICFJC was formed as the location of comprehensive high quality services required by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, sexual exploitation, and elder abuse so as to be all under one roof.
The ICFJC is located at 2999 S. Fourth Street in El Centro at the Imperial County Department of Social Services Protective Services building.
According to Price, the site and location is beneficial for; co-location of multiple partners to provide services to victims; close proximity of other social service, Behavioral Health, employment and child support services at County Center IV; private entrance for victims to enter and exit the facility; a waiting area designated for privacy and comfort of families; and as a forensic interview site. The building location is centralized for access to services and is a fixed route for public transportation to and from the site.
“I would like to stress that this was a coordinated effort and that we are not here to compete with any other organizations or non-profits but just providing an area where all of the agencies can come together to provide services together as a program,” said Price.
Supporters included; the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, WomanHaven Center For Family Solutions, Public Health Department, Probation Department, Sure Helpline, Homeland Security Investigations, City of Imperial Police Department, Casa of Imperial County, Clinicas De Salud del Pueblo, Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program, Imperial County Office of Education and Department of Child Support who were present during the meeting.