Family justice center proposed for victims of domestic violence

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A brand new family justice center for victims of domestic violence has been proposed, and it's being called a first of its kind facility where women and children can receive the help they need. Money is still being raised for this project.

The shelter would be located near 6th and Walnut, and some say it will be a center unlike any other in the state or the country.

The Sojourner Family Peace Center helps thousands of domestic violence victims every year. The Center is teaming up with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to make sure women and children have access to important resources -- all under one roof.

"The center gives us an opportunity to intervene and address crisis but also help those children set a different tone for their lives. If we can bring the family unit together and bring them a comprehensive treatment plan, the potential for them to grow up and not become abusers is much higher,"

Resources like safe shelter, legal services, faith-based groups and counseling will be offered in one building.

Jodine Basterash is a survivor with four children. She says having all these resources in one place is critical.

"When you do leave and do seek out some help when you have to continually go place to place, constantly looking over your shoulder, looking in the rearview mirror, constantly afraid, is the perpetrator going to find you? What's going to happen?" Basterash said.

The total cost will be just over $20 million and the money still needs to be raised, but Gov. Scott Walker has announced he is committing over $10 million in state funding as an investment in the future.

"With a model of not only taking family justice but combining it with child advocacy, putting the two together, it addresses some of the most pressing issues we have in this community day in and day out," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker says he hopes the state's commitment of putting up half will provide the leverage they need to raise the rest of it in private dollars. They hope to break ground sometime next year.