Palomar Reports More Domestic Violence Victims Seeking Help In 2018


Wednesday, November 28th 2018, 5:47 pm
By: News 9


More domestic violence victims are escaping abuse than this time last year, Oklahoma City's Family Justice Center, Palomar, reports.

The facility brings together all the services they need under one roof, and administrators say it is making an impact on the community.

“You’re seeing generational cycles of violence being broken,” explains Palomar executive director Kim Garrett.

Since Palomar opened in February 2017, the facility has been inundated with Oklahomans who hope to escape violent relationships. 5,831 people are official clients now, with staff receiving a total of 17,969 calls and visits to date.

Palomar providers usually see victims coming back at least three times to solidify an exit plan with someone they can trust.

“Our goal is to create a community after the crisis,” Garrett says, “because we know that these are serious issues that won’t be changed in just one contact.”

Garrett says they also survey each person who comes through the door to continue looking for ways to improve. Common requests include more civil legal services, but the justice center has already tackled animal advocacy and transportation challenges. Administrators are still hoping to expand their facility, a goal they have had since last November.

The agencies housed within Palomar have helped people from 96 different zip codes in the metro area.

“It’s every race, religion, age, ethnicity, so it doesn’t discriminate,” Garrett explains. “We’ve got some of the most affluent people in our community who have sought services to people who are homeless and everything in between.”

The good news is, because more people are asking for help, more offenders are being held accountable. In October,  14 agencies came together to make the area's first domestic violence-targeted warrant sweep, resulting in 121 arrests and seven extraditions.

Garrett says even on a smaller scale, she sees the value of interagency interactions every day.

“It was just really cool to sit here and see all the different professionals working together,” she says, “and it’s never happened before Palomar.”

For help connecting to the right resources for your situation, you can call the Oklahoma State Safeline 24 hours a day at 1(800) 522-SAFE (7233).

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