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City to streamline services for domestic violence victims

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – St. Louis city leaders say a new Family Justice Center soon to open downtown will be a one-stop-shop for women fleeing abusive relationships.

The U.S. Justice Department gave the city $1.25 million to start the pilot project.

Officials say it will give victims easy access to police, prosecutors, counseling, medical treatment and other services.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says victims don't often seek justice because the process can be intimidating.

"It is a tremendous act of courage for a woman to even report something like this to the police, so we want to support them as much as possible in their decision to do that and to press charges and to follow through," Joyce said.

Joyce says despite problems keeping her office staffed, two city prosecutors will work at the facility on a rotating basis.

The center will open in the fall, once building renovations are complete.