When domestic and sexual abuse victims need help — whether it be from law enforcement, advocates or other providers — the Chandler Family Advocacy Center is one central place victims can go to find the services they need.
The City-run center, which first opened its doors in July 2018, was established to provide comprehensive, victim-focused services to better serve abused and neglected children and adults. The Center, which is decorated to feel safe, warm and inviting, has rooms equipt for medical examinations, forensic interviews, consultations and emotional support.
Katie Cain, the City’s Victim Services Coordinator, said having a comprehensive center, where people can access a variety of victim services without having to be referred to another center or hospital, is a streamlined way to reduce trauma and provide the best possible care.
“When people walk through the doors for an interview or for immediate care after an incident, it is a comforting, relaxing environment,” Cain said. “That puts people at ease right away.”
Perhaps even more than the decor, the Family Advocacy Center service dog (a Goldendoodle named Annie) helps clients feel emotionally supported during care.
When a family comes into the Center, Annie gets to meet the children, sit and play to help increase their comfort level. Annie’s gentle sweetness and demeanor is often an instant source of relief for people feeling the weight of heavy stress or trauma.
“Annie works wonders,” Cain said.
Cain said the Center and its advocates work to help victims find three main forms of support — criminal justice, emotional and physical safety, and healing.
These means of support have many faces. Assistance with protective orders and medical aid are just two pieces of the larger puzzle many victims face when trying to find safety and stability in their lives.
The Center serves to assist victims with whatever they need — from shelter, housing, food, employment, clothing, legal protections, documentation, evidence and much more. Services available to victims include but are not limited to:
Education on victim’s rights and the criminal justice system
Support during criminal investigations
Information and referral to community resources
Assistance with court protections
Help to develop a personal safety plan
For more information, contact the Family Advocacy Center at 480-782-4210.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence affects millions of people every year, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and socioeconomic status. City personnel will be recognizing National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by Wearing Purple on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.
The City’s Domestic Violence Commission advises the Mayor and Council concerning community domestic violence issues including the quality and effectiveness of domestic violence services in Chandler.
The City will be lighting City Hall and the Police Main Station purple every night in October in conjunction with Lighting Arizona Purple, a statewide initiative to spread information and awareness about domestic violence and how to get help throughout our state.