Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) joined representatives of the Family Justice Center in announcing $100,000 in additional state funding for the organization, which provides services to domestic violence victims and their children. Senator Gallivan secured the funding during this year’s legislative session to support the center’s Forensic Medical Unit (FMU), which collects evidence used in the prosecution of domestic violence cases.
“The Family Justice Center not only provides critical services for victims of domestic violence, it helps prosecute abusers,” Gallivan said. “As a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County, I have witnessed the devastating impact domestic violence has on families and understand the importance of supporting programs and services like those provided by the Family Justice Center in our community.”
The Forensic Medical Unit helps document injuries and can provide critical evidence for criminal prosecution.
“Brutal attacks, at the hands of a victim’s significant other, often leave our clients with devastating injuries,” said Family Justice Center Executive Director Mary Travers Murphy. “The Family Justice Center’s Forensic Medical Unit nurses enable our clients to hold their abusers accountable by taking pictures and producing body maps, medically describing the injuries. This evidence has proven highly effective in court. Senator Gallivan’s commitment to secure funding for our FMU not only saves lives and puts perpetrators behind bars, but sends a strong message that we are doing everything in our power to address this public health crisis and let victims know help and healing and safe havens are within reach.”
Senator Gallivan announced the funding during a press conference at the Family Justice Center’s Buffalo office. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.