Tacoma domestic violence victim center saves lives, director says

KING 5's Chris Daniels reports.

TACOMA, Wash. – The Crystal Judson Family Justice Center was born after another fatal shooting, involving a police officer; an event that no one in Tacoma will soon forget.

Similar to Wednesday’s shooting, it was also a case of domestic violence, which forced people to confront the difficult issue and a new center to help victims.

In 2003, then-Tacoma Police Chief David Brame shot and killed his wife Crystal, before turning the gun on himself.  Crystal had repeatedly asked for help from city leaders and friends. A lawsuit against the City and the ensuing settlement led to the creation of the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center a couple of years later.

"That rocked our community to the core," says Susan Adams, the Director of the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center, about the events which led up the site's creation. 

The 11,000 square foot spot, on Court E in Downtown Tacoma, provides services for domestic violence victims and survivors under one roof.

"We are here for people thinking of leaving a domestic violence situation, maybe they're not sure they're in a domestic violence situation, but something isn't quite right," Adams said.

In 2015, the Center said there were 2,639 client visits, and more than 4,000 Helpline calls.  Advocates help clients file needed court paperwork, assist with finding emergency housing, food, and transportation.  There is even a large play area for kids, so parents can have childcare while they deal with a crisis situation. 

"It's just trying to eliminate those barriers,” Adams said, “A place you can walk through the door, tell your story once, and get the help you need."

The Center is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m – 4:30 p.m.

Related: Resources to help domestic violence victims

Copyright 2016 KING


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