Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Family Tree Celebrates the PorchLight Family Justice Center

Christen Martines | October 26, 2020

Legal Aid

Author: Jeffrey Hahn

As COVID-19 continues to present unprecedented challenges to all of our programs at Family Tree, we are consistently working towards providing safe and adapted services to all of our clients.  Our Legal Advocacy Program is no exception. However, we recognize the need for in-person services now and in the future.

Family Tree’s Legal Advocacy Program (LAP), is excited to announce that we will open in-person services at the brand new PorchLight Family Justice Center in Jefferson County.  The center focuses on providing survivor and victim services all in one location.  Community partners who will also reside at PorchLight include: The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Ralston House, Jefferson County Mental Health, Jefferson County Law Enforcement dedicated to investigating crimes of domestic violence, Jefferson County Social Services and numerous other non-profit community partners.

LAP strives to increase immediate and long-term safety for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking by providing civil and criminal legal advocacy, crisis intervention, and information and referrals. Jeffrey Hahn, Program Director, shares more about the significance of PorchLight, “As we reflect and focus on Domestic Violence Awareness Month, PorchLight Family Justice Center is a great way to celebrate numerous organizations committed to working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.”

One newly available service that is especially impactful is that temporary protection orders can be applied for and then heard by a judge via video conferencing right from PorchLight. Survivors will be able to speak with the judge in a quiet, comfortable, private room without having to feel overwhelmed or intimidated by being in a courtroom.  Additionally, there is no need to go to the courthouse or sheriff’s office to have the temporary protection order served.  Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department will also have an office at PorchLight, allowing survivors to turn in their temporary protection orders to the onsite sheriffs for service to the respondent.

Family Tree’s Legal Advocacy Program is excited to begin this new journey with PorchLight Family Justice Center and to provide trauma-informed, safe and confidential services to survivors.

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