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New Family Safety Center Open for Domestic Violence Victims

Many domestic violence victims live in the dark, afraid to get help or have no idea where to go. But after several outreach events this week and a grand opening of a new sanctuary for victims, that may change.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis cops and Shelby County deputies respond to about 100 domestic violence calls a day. The District Attorney's office says domestic violence is a growing problem.

Many domestic violence victims live in the dark, afraid to get help or have no idea where to go. But after several outreach events this week and a grand opening of a new sanctuary for victims, that may change.

After all the cheers and clapping from the grand opening ceremony had faded, it was all business.

Gwen Turner works at the brand new Family Safety Center to help domestic violence victims. It's a fitting job for her since she was once a victim.

"I sought out employment that would put me in a place where I can help other women, or at least be an example to other women, that you can come out, you can find yourself again. You can control your own life."

For 20 years she suffered physical, mental, and emotional abuse from her partner.

"20 years ago you could only go to a shelter, maybe. That's not always conducive, especially if you have children. But here you have resources, you have counseling."

The new Family Safety Center is that and much more all under one roof.

"There's a domestic violence unit here so if they're coming up here to make a compliant to the Memphis Police Department we also ask if there are any additional services that they need," said Olliette Murry-Drobot, Director of the Family Safety Center.

The center is already helping nearly 60 domestic violence victims. The Shelby County District Attorney's Office is one of the many big supporters in creating the Family Safety Center.

Shelby County DA Amy Weirich told abc24.com, "We've got to stop calling it domestic violence; it's a community problem and we as a community have to come together to see through healing, and that's what it's all about, to provide that hope and that healing."

It's day one for this new center and hopefully the beginning to the end of domestic violence.

"I'm glad to be here," Turner said, "I know it's going to be successful because it's very much needed."

The Family Safety Center is located at 1750 Madison Avenue in midtown Memphis. The Shelby County office that handles restraining orders will move in that same facility in June.

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