Rockford city officials provide update on Family Justice Center

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ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- The domestic violence issue is reaching epidemic proportions in the City of Rockford and unlike other types of crime in the city, these crimes are still trending upward. Rockford officials shared an update on the creation of the family justice center, which gained some ground in a recent forum.

Project Manager for the family justice center, Sierra Kellen, says while the family justice center is not scheduled until the summer of 2020, the city is looking to open something much sooner than that.

Kellen says, "A big component of the family justice center is building a center that is really focused on what the community needs and what the community would like to see in a family justice center. What we're thinking about doing is occupying a smaller space, so that we can really get going on this right away. Just providing a safe place to be to process all of that information and find out what the next step should be. Civil legal services are a huge piece of that."

City leaders say these forums serve as a place where everyone can come and feel comfortable to ask questions, no matter your situation.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara says this city has too much domestic violence and is happy to see big steps are being made towards this justice center.

McNamara says, "The number of violent crime acts that are domestic violence related, that percentage is going up. Domestic violence literally touches everyone. And so I think that's one of those issues that really crosses races, It crosses the east and west sides of Rockford. It crosses all these typical areas that you think would be divides. It really is something unfortunately brings people together."

The city says they plan on having continuous meetings with the community to provide the latest updates on its soon-to-be family justice center.