By Alan Collins, Reporter

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) –

There is new center to help out those who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

The One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center is on Southside and opened in early May. The center offers a variety of services to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

“You know for a lot of victims and survivors it can be intimidating to walk into a courthouse. Walk through a metal detector,” Allison Dearing, Executive Director of One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center said.

Dearing gave Jefferson County Commissioners an update on the operation since it opened for service. The center was created after a number of domestic violence murders last year.

“We all know what a tragic year it was for Jefferson County. We suffered 19 domestic violence homicides. Maybe it was the tipping point,” Dearing said.

Dearing is hoping One Place will offer help and will bring down those numbers down. “Communities across the county whether our family justice center, they have seen homicides reduced. They have seen prosecutions increase and more people willing to come and seek services.” Dearing said.

The long range goals include moving to another building closer to the courthouse downtown. The Junior League is expected to launch a fundraising effort to build a larger facility in about five years. The folks at One Place don’t see the demand going away any time soon.

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