District attorney, Safe Alliance want to streamline help for domestic violence survivors

District attorney wants to streamline help for domestic violence survivors

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. – The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office and Safe Alliance are working to bring a Family Justice Center to Mecklenburg County.

“In a community as large as Charlotte, that’s going to be a huge help to victims, to be able to go to one place rather than traveling all over Charlotte,” said Julia Hejazi, team leader of the district attorney’s office’s Special Victims Unit.

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On average, a domestic violence survivor in Mecklenburg County must go to nine different locations, fill out 37 pages of paperwork and repeat their story 27 times, officials said.

“They may go to law enforcement to initially reach out. They may go to a community resource like Safe Alliance to get help. They may reach out to their church and then eventually get connected with the court system,” Hejazi said.

"It’s also dangerous if you’re being stalked by your perpetrator and you’re having to go from one location to another,” said Karen Parker, president and CEO of Safe Alliance CEO.

Safe Alliance and the DA are working to fund the project.

"The way we’re trying to structure this is we’re asking the city and the county for financial support. We’re also going to start a capital campaign to raise the money,” Parker said.

The district attorney’s office said it hopes to open the center by 2023 but in the meantime, it’s working on a short-term solution.

“Currently, we are working towards opening a beginning stop for people called The Survivor Resource Center that we hope to have open in April next year that will begin to connect the services,” Hejazi said.

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