Domestic abuse center volunteers plead for life-saving funding

08/07/13 Janelle Irwin
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The Hillsborough County Family Justice Center is credited with helping more than 11,000 families affected by domestic violence. But they’ve run out of money. During a meeting Wednesday morning, seven volunteers and staff members from the Family Justice Center pleaded with county commissioners to provide emergency funding to keep the domestic violence resource open for just a few months while they raise more money. The speakers called it a matter of life and death. Dan Jurman, a volunteer with the group, was one of them.

“Today, in Hillsborough County, this very day, there is a little boy living in a house that is besieged by domestic violence and he’s wondering whether tonight will be a good night or a bad night and he wonders that everyday and he’s living with fear and he’s living with shame and guilt because he can’t protect his mother; because he can’t stand up for her. I know that because over 30 years ago, that little boy was me.”

Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist asked about the group’s finances. They need about $170,000 to stay open and most of that money would go to rent. Nikki Daniels, the Family Justice Center’s executive director, said their rent is high because they have a large facility that provides offices to other outreach groups that can offer onsite assistance to women in crisis. The issue was not on the agenda and commissioners did not take any action.

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