The Umbrella Center will provide a comprehensive array of services under one roof with a mission to support survivors of violence and abuse in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

What is a Family Justice Center?

  • A Family Justice Center is a victim-centered, trauma-informed model in which multiple domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, human trafficking and child abuse partners are co-located and work in collaboration with each other so that victims and their children access all of the services that they need in a single place--advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, counselors, representatives of the faith community, healthcare providers, and others all under one roof. 
  • The first Family Justice Center was founded in San Diego in 2002. Due to its success, the model has been replicated over 120 times internationally.
  • Documented outcomes of Family Justice Centers include significantly reduced domestic violence-related homicides, increased victim safety, helping to break the cycle of violence for children, increased efficiency in collaborative services to victims among service providers, and increased prosecution of offenders. 
  • There are a number of Family Justice Centers and co-located service models in North Carolina including in Alamance, Buncombe, and Guilford Counties. 
  • The Alliance for Hope is the national organization for Family Justice Centers that provides training and technical assistance to communities as they develop their own centers.
  • In 2005, Congress added Family Justice Centers into the Federal Violence against Women Act as a specialized purpose area designed to promote collaborative models of service delivery for victims of domestic and sexual abuse, further promoting the Family Justice Center model across the United States.

Why A Family Justice Center?

  • Adult and child victims of interpersonal violence must often navigate multiple, complex systems in order to access services.
  • Children and adults alike may be required to tell their story multiple times, each time exposing them to renewed trauma; or they may be forced to miss multiple days of school or work as they meet with different service providers throughout the county.
  • For many, the effort to receive services may be too confusing, overwhelming, or dangerous, leading them to lose hope and, too often, return to an abusive home. 
  • Victims are best served when public and private sector agencies enter into deep, meaningful collaboration, housing themselves in a single Family Justice Center or similar multi-agency location, sharing information to better coordinate care, and ensuring the system works effectively for those in need.