Rockford's Family Justice Center name unveiled

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Family Peace Center is the new name for Rockford’s facility to help families affected by violence.

After months of conversations with the community, city leaders agreed peace is the perfect word to describe the center.

"We heard loud and clear that they did not want this to be called a Family Justice Center. We pivoted to something that we thought was more welcoming, more opening and warmer for survivors and their families," said Manager of the Mayor’s Office of Domestic Violence, Jennifer Cacciapaglia.

The center will be a one-stop shop where domestic violence and sexual assault victims can get help.

"So often we demand and ask why is she staying? Why doesn't she just leave? Then they are presented with a system that they don't know how to navigate or even really where to begin." Cacciapaglia said.

"When you look at 41% of crime being domestic and we know that 70% goes unreported we know the need is astronomical. So we are going to be looking for that temporary location right away," said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

On Wednesday, leaders started a two-day strategic planning event with community members and national family justice center experts. Their goal is to develop a plan to get the center up and running quickly.

"It brings chills to you. It is just really remarkable to see the community no matter your age coming together for this," McNamara said.

While there are no specific sites for the family peace center, McNamara says it will be along a bus route and should be open by July 2020.