Reaching domestic violence victims in the northtowns

Feb 4, 2014

The Family Justice Center of Buffalo officially opened its new Williamsville satellite office Monday to reach domestic violence victims in the Northtowns.  WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says the new safe haven will provide shelter for women and children seeking protection from an abusive situation.

Family Justice Center house in northtowns.
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

"We had no idea what to expect our first day.  We are doing everything in our power to get the word out and we had two first day," said Mary Travers Murphy, executive director of the Family Justice Center.

Last October we toured a small, two-story home owned  North Presbyterian Church on North Forest Road in Williamsville while it was still under construction. 

A group of pastors came to the Family Justice Center asking for assistance in dealing an overload of domestic violence cases in the northtowns.     

"They came to the Family Justice Center to say we've got a big problem here in Williamsivlle. We don't know what to tell people. We don't know where to send them and we would love for the Family Justice Center to have a presence," said Murphy. 

An Amherst Police captain told Murphy the department handles 1,500 domestic violence cases each year.

"And that's just Amherst.  We will be seeing clients from Clarence and Tonawanda and Williamsville," said Murphy.

More than a dozen churches helped support the northtowns project  and worked to raise $100,000 dollars to reconstruct the home into a safe haven.

Murphy stressed domestic violence has no boundaries.
"We see it in absolutely ever segment of society," said Murphy.