BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Family Justice Center already has helped 13,000 domestic violence victims and services are continuing to expand for those in need by relocating to downtown Bakersfield.
“Our Family Justice Center has been so successful that we ran out of room at our other location,” said Cynthia Zimmer, District Attorney. “This facility, it’s closer to law enforcement, it’s closer to the BPD, it’s closer to court, it’s closer to our office, so it’s a lot better. And it’s actually safer.”
Most importantly, this facility was designed to bring all the help a victim needs in just one facility.
“It is a problem if we have to tell the victim: ‘We’re not open today, come back another day’, ‘go see this person, that person’, because they’re in crisis and they might just give up,” said Cynthia Zimmer.
Which is a frequent situation in the Kern County community.
“Men and women of the Bakersfield Police Department respond to some type of domestic violence incident every single day in our city,” said Greg Terry, Bakersfield Police Chief. “Domestic violence incidents is one of the most dangerous calls that law enforcement will respond to. They are extremely volatile, they’re very emotional.”
Calling public safety a shared responsibility, Chief Terry says after the initial emergency call, aftercare is just as important.
“They can talk to someone confidentially, or they can get other types of help like restraining orders and different things, we will help the needs. If they want someone to go to court with them, because the case has been filed, we have advocates that will go to court with them. If they need someplace to go live that’s safe, we can get them housing,” said Zimmer.
The center, which is located on 18th and L streets is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no appointment needed.