October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the partner agencies at Buncombe County’s Family Justice Center (FJC) wants everyone to know there is a way to break the cycle via our one-stop location for supportive services from filing restraining orders to counseling to initiating criminal charges. We know it can be overwhelming thinking about leaving an abusive partner, that’s why the FJC offers so many vital resources under one roof.
A new initiative is aimed at curbing future homicides by having a multidisciplinary task force review domestic violence-related deaths in Buncombe County. The Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DVFRT) will be a compilation of community representatives that will quarterly review the County’s domestic violence homicides. “The duties of the DVFRT include issuing reports, summarizing findings and activities, and making recommendations for action to local and state officials,” explains Julie Klipp Nicholson, FJC Coordinator.
The partner agencies at the FJC also invite community members to be active in the Up-Standers program, aimed at identifying and supporting people in abusive relationships. Some warning signs that someone you care about is in a potentially dangerous relationship are:
- Their partner is jealous, possessive, or has an explosive temper.
- Their partner puts them down, calls them names, or tells them what to do.
- Their partner texts or calls excessively or expects them to report their whereabouts or activities.
- You notice increased anxiety or depression and they become isolated or withdrawn.
- You notice unexplained marks or bruises.
Community partnerships are a vital part of providing an expansive array of resources so that all bases are covered when someone decides to access services at the FJC. “Helpmate is committed to working with our partners throughout Buncombe County to ensure that when a survivor makes that first, courageous effort to reach out for help, they are treated with respect and compassion and their stories are heard and believed,” says April Burgess-Johnson, Executive Director of Helpmate.
“We will continue to work with community members, employers, schools, healthcare providers, law enforcement, and social workers to ensure that Buncombe County is a safer community for families. We will collaborate to share information about healthy relationships, nonviolent conflict resolution and respecting boundaries in all the places where people live, learn, work, play, and worship.”
Onsite FJC agencies offering support to survivors include:
“If you, or anyone you know, is affected by domestic violence, there is help and there is hope. You don’t have to live in fear of your partner and you don’t have to walk this path alone – services are available at the FJC,” says Klipp Nicholson.
You can make an appointment with the FJC by:
- Calling (828) 250-6900
- Visiting 35 Woodfin St., Asheville. Walk-ins are welcome from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Find out more about services available at the FJC online at the FJC’s website.
If you want to speak with someone, Helpmate has a 24-hour hotline you can call at (828) 254-0516. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.