In 2016, the Family Justice Center Sonoma County (FJCSC) received $666,666 from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime’s (OVC) “A Pathway to Justice, Healing, and Hope: Addressing Polyvictimization in a Family Justice Center Setting Demonstration Initiative” program. This program awarded grants to six family justice centers (FJCs), or other comprehensive co-located service providers for victims of domestic violence, to serve as demonstration sites to develop and pilot a screening tool for identifying individuals that have experienced polyvictimization (multiple victimizations of different kinds). OVC also awarded a grant to Alliance for Hope International through this program to provide technical assistance (TA) to participating FJCs.
The Family Justice Center Sonoma County (FJCSC) and its partners believe that the majority of clients they work with are polyvictims, and that there is a critical need for a more systematic approach to identify and effectively serve these individuals. Polyvictims are more likely to experience higher levels of drug and alcohol abuse, illness, disease, and reduced life expectancy, along with an increased likelihood of future victimization and trauma, especially if they experienced victimization as children. Polyvictims often have more complex needs for recovery and receiving the necessary combination of services can help victims better recover, heal, and avoid retraumatization.
In addition to supporting the FJCSC in developing the successful grant proposal, GPG will be supporting the FJCSC and its partners to collaboratively develop a strategic plan during year one of the award period that, when implemented, will lead to better identification and support for polyvictims, the individuals who have experienced multiple forms of victimization. The FJCSC will also work with an external evaluator to assess the effectiveness of these efforts. As part of the conclusion of this work, the participating FJCs will produce a report documenting their learnings, in order to increase the knowledge base of effective practices for identifying and serving this population.
This grant offers a powerful opportunity for the FJCSC to deeply evaluate how they can best contribute to the healing of their most vulnerable clients, and GPG is proud to support the FJCSC in developing the next generation of their services.