Advocacy: Guiding You To Safety

The Center’s Advocates are counselors trained and certified specifically in the area of domestic and sexual violence.  They empower and counsel victims and survivors through emotional support, safety planning, case management services, and advocacy within medical, court, child welfare and other systems of care.

Domestic and sexual violence advocacy

The Center provides both domestic violence and sexual assault services to victims and their children.

Services provided in both English and Spanish include:

  • Intake and assessment;
  • Development of safety plans to address specific situations;
  • Accompaniment to the hospital following an assault;
  • Accompaniment to police and courts;
  • Short-term individual counseling and support groups;
  • Assistance with filing compensation claims with Victims Services.

For adults:

Adult clients are provided with information and referrals for available resources including health clinics, mental health services, housing information, public transportation, legal resources, immigration referrals, food and clothing, child care, youth services and job training.

For children:

Services available to children include: referrals to other services that are specific to the child’s needs; advocacy with other agencies; age-appropriate safety planning; and activity groups while adult groups are in session. Counselor-advocates also provide a model of healthy parenting skills and works with the mother to develop safety plans for her children. As needed, counselor-advocates meet regularly with individual children to support them through this difficult time and provide them with information or education about living within a family experiencing violence.

Integrated Family Violence Services (IFVS)

IFVS is funded by The Department of Children and Families and provides intensive clinical and case management services for families where domestic violence is having an adverse affect on the child’s well-being and the adults’ ability to parent. The primarily in-home service focuses on all family members including the child, the parent who is the survivor of domestic violence, and the batterer. Batterer treatment services are outsourced to Family ReEntry.

Core services include:

  • Case management;
  • Safety planning for the survivor and the child;
  • Trauma-focused work with children;
  • Educational and therapeutic interventions with the family to increase child welfare and aid in the healing process;
  • Batterer interventions to reduce violent behaviors.

Criminal Court Advocacy

The Family Violence Victim Advocacy program (FVVA) provides direct services to each victim that comes through the Golden Hill Street Domestic Violence Criminal Court in Bridgeport. The Center’s Criminal Court Advocates help victims understand and negotiate the legal process; ensure that victims have a safety plan in place that will protect them at each stage of the legal process; and link victims to appropriate supportive services at The Center or other agencies.

Direct services include:

  • Information regarding the court process;
  • Information about protective orders and the application process for a civil restraining order;
  • Telephone or in-person counseling, including support in designing and implementing a safety plan;
  • Referrals for emergency shelter and support groups;
  • Referrals to appropriate agencies for collateral services;
  • Referrals for services to children and dependents of the victim;
  • Information regarding the application for criminal injuries compensation;
  • Information regarding the availability of ongoing services.

Civil Court Advocacy

The Civil Court Advocate, stationed at the Main Street Civil Court in Bridgeport, assists clients with restraining orders, addresses divorce and custody issues, and counsels the client. In addition, the Civil Court Advocate provides in-court accompaniment and communicates important elements of the case to the judge.

Additional direct services include:

  • Information about the court process;
  • Telephone or in-person counseling, including support in designing and implementing a safety plan;
  • Referrals for emergency shelter and for support groups;
  • Referrals to appropriate agencies for collateral services;
  • Referrals for services to children and dependents of the victim;
  • Information about criminal injuries compensation;
  • Information on ongoing services.

Hope Starts Here!

Let The Center for Family Justice become your lifeline.

Please call us today at 203-334-6154
Or 24/7 on a hotline:

Domestic violence: 203-384-9559
Sexual assault: 203-333-2233
Vedas (Spanish): 888-568-8332

Serving victims and raising awareness about domestic and sexual violence in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull in Fairfield County