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Posted on December 1, 2023
Bridgeport, Conn.—State Representative Tony Scott (R-112) and other Greater Bridgeport Area lawmakers attended a legislative update at the Center For Family Justice in Bridgeport on Thursday, November 30, 2023. The Center for Family Justice provides services in a six-town region, including Monroe, Easton, and Trumbull.
“Many of the staff members involved with this incredible nonprofit are Monroe residents and I appreciated hearing more about the crucial work that they do to help survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and child abuse. They have more than a dozen nonprofits under their umbrella to provide support to those in need,” said Scott.
The Center For Family Justice experienced a 32% spike in service requests since the pandemic, serving over 5,500 people from the six towns last year alone. Their safe house, which is staffed 24/7, is at 153% capacity. During the pandemic, families and homeless individuals were housed in hotels, but those were not staffed 24/7.
“People getting out of domestic situations face a unique challenge in needing a safe place to call home. The Center for Family Justice doesn’t turn anyone away, but as pandemic-related federal funding runs out they will have a difficult time filling in that gap,” said Scott. “We heard during this legislative update meeting that the average length of stay exceeded 60 days, in part because it’s difficult to move out of the community they know, where their kids go to school, where their doctors are, and where their co-workers are.”
Among other services, The Center For Family Justice runs a 24-hour crisis hotline, helps survivors of domestic violence with the civil and criminal court processes, coordinates the investigations of child sexual and severe physical abuse, and provides free, Pro Bono legal services to domestic violence victims on matters related to divorce, child custody and other issues related to their abuse.
The organization also works with the school districts in their service area, teaching children and teens about building healthy relationships and bystander prevention workshops on bullying, dating violence and sexual violence.
During the 2023 General Assembly session, Scott supported An Act Strengthening the Protections Against and Response to Domestic Violence. This bill provides greater protections for and enhanced responses to individuals involved in domestic and intimate partner violence.