Celebrates Family Justice Center Anniversary

Thurston County Family Justice Center logoThurston County Family Justice Center (TCFJC, online at is only one of two family justice centers in Washington state and has just celebrated its first anniversary. staff attended the anniversary event, which was a wine tasting in Olympia, Washington on October 9, 2014. During the evening event, “Lighting the Way to Hope,” representatives from TCFJC and the South Sound Family Support Center recognized leaders in both organizations and spoke about TCFJC’s plans for the future.

Family justice centers provide help and resources for individuals who have experienced domestic violence. According to, “There are currently over 80 operating Family Justice Centers of similar models and over 100 communities in some stage of planning for a family justice center or similar co-located, multi-disciplinary approach across the country and around the world.” This multi-disciplinary approach is evident in the programs and resources TCFJC offers, from legal support and protection orders to childcare, transportation assistance, and safety planning.

To help illustrate the organization’s dedication to hope—the theme of the soirée on October 9—Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim invoked a quote from the movie The Hunger Games: “Hope. Because it’s the only thing stronger than fear.” Tunheim related this to the work of TCFJC, which helps provide second chances for individuals and children who may not have thought they could get a new start in life.

“We’re here to thank the law enforcement and prosecutors that have held more than 1,000 abusers accountable for their crimes in 2014,” said Schelli Slaughter, director of TCFJC. “Because you’re here in this room tonight, we have something to offer to survivors: hope. The Family Justice Center is special … unlike any other program. It’s not in very many settings that you will find a prosecutor, a clerk, a sheriff, and a community-based agency working together for a common cause. But at the Family Justice Center, that’s exactly what we do every day.”

Among the distinguished guests at the evening celebration were Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza, Thurston County Clerk Betty Gould, Washington State First Lady Trudi Inslee, and directors of many local nonprofit organizations dedicated to various aspects of mental health care and advocacy.

One of the key speakers at the anniversary event was a woman who had moved to the West Coast to leave behind an abusive ex and past experiences of domestic violence. Heather* moved with her son to start a new life and reclaim her identity, only to find her situation called for a complete identity change. After she got a new name, social security number, and ID, she said she had to come to terms with the fact that the new person she had become had no history—the college degrees she had earned previously, her work history, even her high school diploma were all meaningless.

Heather acknowledged TCFJC and similar organizations for helping her get on her feet, find employment, and provide resources for her and her son when they were in need. Heather’s story is one of many similar testaments to the work of TCFJC and the South Sound Family Support Center.

Natalie Moran, program coordinator at the Family Support Center, challenged everyone in attendance to wear their purple ribbons to recognize domestic violence throughout the month of October and continue working to prevent violence and provide resources for those who have experienced it year-round. was happy to be able to help support TCFJC and have a presence at the anniversary event. We strive for even more community involvement and dedication to supporting nonprofit organizations in their advocacy efforts.

* Name has been changed.

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  • gil


    October 21st, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Wow, now it is places like this that I think that more of us need to get behind and support! It is places like this that show the victims of domestic abuse and violence that we are there to rally behind them and support them.

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