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Alameda County Family Justice Center

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ACFJC Commended by DOJ for Helping & Protecting Women and Children

Recently, a delegation from the Department of Justice - Office of Violence Against Women visited the Alameda County Family Justice Center to acknowledge and commend the considerable inroads the ACFJC has made in coordinating the response to violence against women in our region. The visit was in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and part of a national tour of outstanding facilities making a difference in the lives of women.

The group, led by Principal Deputy Director Bea Hanson, saw first-hand why the ACFJC is a model for excellence for centers around the nation. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and ACFJC Executive Director Cherri Allison led the delegation on a tour of the ACFJC facility, introducing our service partners and demonstrating the specific ways in which we serve victims of crime.

L-R: ACFJC Executive Director Cherri Allison, DA Nancy O'Malley, DOJ-OVW Principal Deputy Director Bea Hanson, DOJ-OVW Confidential Assistant Carla Bernal, DOJ-OVW Deputy for Policy Rosie Hidalgo.

The ACFJC employs a coordinated response model to address the varying needs of the victim and their family, uniting the various services required such as social services, law enforcement, the DA’s Office and victim advocates. Ms Hanson agreed that a coordinated strategy was the best model for serving victims of crime.

"It's all of us working together in a coordinated response that enables us to make a real difference in the lives of victims. When we talk about these issues, we know this is a problem that's chronic. We know that this is a problem that's been going on for a long time, it affects so many of us and that we can only address it by working together in a coordinated fashion," Ms Hanson said.

DA O’Malley spoke of her involvement in the justice system, starting with her time volunteering at a Rape Crisis Center in the mid-1970s through to the current day as District Attorney.

"I remember what it was like when victims had no voice and had no rights and they were abused in every way, not just from the abusers, but from the system, from law enforcement. There were no advocates that were there to help besides volunteers like myself, “ DA O’Malley said.

“I remember those days and I'm proud to be part of the solution and the change that has brought us to where we are now."

At the meeting, leaders from the DA's Office, ACFJC, DOJ-OVW, and service partners discussed best practices in areas such as prosecution, law enforcement, victim services, cultural competency, language access, prevention, empowerment and public awareness.

The ACFJC is a model of excellence in California and beyond, providing victims with a one-stop location to access legal, health and various support services that aid their safety, recovery and well-being. The Center also offers numerous innovative prevention and empowerment programs for victim-survivors and their families. Find out more about our services here.