All-in-one center to help abuse victims opens in Van Nuys

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A new program designed to help victims of sexual or domestic abuse is up and running in the San Fernando Valley. (KABC)

A new program designed to help victims of sexual or domestic abuse is up and running in the San Fernando Valley.

A non-descript building in Van Nuys, which is the Family Justice Center, is a safe haven for victims of abuse. Instead of victims heading to different sites for medical, mental and legal help, they can receive it all at the center.

"Anything that happens to these victims, we are able to help them and move them forward and offer all of those services under one roof," said Brian Hammel with the Northridge Hospital Foundation.

In addition to the services, the new center allows police investigators to work on building a case against the person who assaulted an adult or child.

The victims are brought into a comfortable-looking room, which allows the victims to speak more freely about what he or she has gone through. In another room, officers are monitoring the interview.

"We have to hold perpetrators accountable, and the victims and the families need to know that's happening," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said.

One survivor said the toughest thing for a victim to do is ask for help, but the hope is that this new facility will make that easier.

"You're not alone and whatever happened to you isn't your fault. People here want to help you. People want to protect you," Bobbie Matthews said. "We've got LAPD here everywhere. I've never felt safer than I do here. So you should come here. Ask for help, it's OK."

There is talk of opening a few more of the facilities in other parts of Los Angeles.

Related Topics:
abusechild abusesex abusedomestic violenceNorthridgeVan NuysLos Angeles County
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