Updated 07/16/2012 01:44 PM
Grant to help Alamance Co. domestic violence victims through court system
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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — The Family Justice Center of Alamance County is using a grant from the Governor's Crime Commission to help domestic violence victims.
Organizers say the volunteer court navigator program will help the victims maneuver a complicated court system. Organizers are working to finalize the details of the new program.
“The courts try to be friendly, victim friendly, but it's a very intimidating setting,” said Family Justice Center Director Cindy Brady.
Brady has seen first-hand what victims of domestic violence have to go through to get a protective order. For many, she said working through the system is overwhelming.
“You can just watch the anxiety level rise and I saw victims leave at the lunch break and not return,” said Brady.
But she is hoping to change all that with a new Volunteer Court Navigator Program. A grant from the Governor's Crime Commission is helping to launch it.
“What we want to do is create an environment where the victim can get services in one place and get the support they need. Right now the victim has to go four places to get this protective order,” said Brady.
However officials hope with the new program, they will be able to guide the victims, helping them to gather the things they will need and be advocates for them as they move through the process.
“We're not attorneys, we don't advise as attorneys. We're simply there for support to show them that indeed somebody does care. And is there to hold their hand through the process but also to understand what the courts are looking for, to make it a less intimidating atmosphere for them,” said volunteer Kevin Dull.
All of the steps will help to make it more likely the victims will get the protective order they need and help them to stay safe. Currently, the organizers are working on getting the program up and running.
In order to learn more about becoming a Court Navigator volunteer call the Family Justice Center at (336) 570-6019. They are looking for volunteers to begin around early October.