Family Justice Center Mission

The Bexar County Family Justice Center provides services and resources necessary to assist victims of domestic violence and their families in one centralized location.

Assisting Victims of Domestic Violence in their Journey from Survivor to Thriver

Goals of the Bexar County Family Justice Center include:

What is a Family Justice Center?

It is the co-location of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who work together in one, centralized location to provide coordinated services to victims of family violence. While a Family Justice Center may house many partners, the basic partners include police officers, prosecutors and community-based advocates. The core concept is to provide one place where victims can go to talk to an advocate, plan for their safety, talk to a police officer, meet with a prosecutor, receive medical assistance, receive information on shelter and get help with transportation.

The Family Justice Center model is based on the San Diego Family Justice Center model (www.familyjusticecenter.org (External Site)) which opened in 2002. The Family Justice Center model has been identified as a best practice in the field of domestic violence intervention and prevention services. The documented and published outcomes in the Family Justice Center model have included: reduced homicides; increased victim safety; increased autonomy and empowerment for victims; reduced fear and anxiety for victims and their children; and reduced recantation and minimization by victims when wrapped in services and support, to name a few. (See Casey Gwinn, Gael Strack, Hope for Hurting Families: Creating Family Justice Centers Across America (Volcano Press 2006)).

History of the Family Justice Center

The Bexar County Family Justice Center opened on August 1, 2005. This exciting and challenging journey began in January 2004 following the announcement of the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative Grant sponsored by the Department of Justice-Office on Violence Against Women (External Site). This federal pilot program would provide twenty million dollars across the country for the planning and development for the establishment of comprehensive domestic violence victim service and support centers.

Recognizing an incredible opportunity for San Antonio, the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney's Office brought together a powerful and successful collaborative to pursue the above described grant, beginning with the District Attorney's Office and partnering with Bexar County Housing & Human Services, San Antonio Police Department, University Health Systems and the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative. Ultimately, Bexar County filed their completed grant application on February 5, 2004 with the support of over thirty community partners from the public, non-profit and private sectors.

Office on Violence Against WomenLater that year, the Department of Justice - Office of Violence Against Women awarded Bexar County the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative Grant, totaling $1,367,000.00. San Antonio was only one of fifteen cities chosen across the country and was the only site in Texas.

Today, the Bexar County Family Justice Center has over forty on and off site partners who provide comprehensive services in the areas of law enforcement and prosecution, protective orders, employment and educational assistance, counseling, civil legal services, child therapy, health care, military liaison services, food and housing assistance, crisis intervention, child care, financial stabilization, life coaching, professional clothing assistance and emergency shelter. Each client has the ability to see any and all service providers at no charge. The Bexar County Family Justice Center serves over 4,000 families a year. All partners work together to fulfill the mission of assisting victims of domestic violence in their journey from survivor to thriver!