New plans, state funds announced for center to aid domestic violence victims

CREATED Feb. 13, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - A one-of-a-kind facility aimed at helping families of domestic violence is in the works in Milwaukee.

Plans would be for the Family Justice Center to go up near the corner of North 6th and West Walnut Streets near downtown Milwaukee.

"I stand here before you all as a survivor," explained Jodine Basterash, who endured domestic abuse.

"It is a blessing to be standing here before you today because of the near-death situations I've encountered."

She joined Gov. Scott Walker and officials with Children's Hospital and Sojourner Peace Center on Wednesday to announce plans to build a facility aimed at helping families of domestic abuse, called the Family Justice Center.

"Our goal is to provide a better and safer community for our children and our families," explained Peggy Troy of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

What makes it unique is that it's the first place of its kind in America to give a comprehensive system of care in one location for domestic violence victims.

That includes a shelter, medical services, legal and law enforcement services, among many other things.

"To have all of the services in one building (is) great, because the biggest fear as a victim is leaving," explained Basterash.

Gov. Walker pledged his support for the estimated $21 million project.

He offered state dollars to match the overall costs to make it happen.

"We think this is a tremendous opportunity."