HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was May of 2010, then Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle appeared on Hawaii News Now's Sunrise to talk about the need for a one-stop center for domestic violence victims.
Sitting next to him, Gael Strack of the Family Justice Center in San Diego."Victims can go to one place and tell their story as opposed to going all over the city and re-telling that story and being traumatized over and over and over again," said Strack. The San Diego location is the model for Family Justice Centers all over the country. There are now about 80 centers built or under construction right now.
Carlisle said on the show, that he had secured $400,000 to get the center started and hoped it would open in a few years.
It didn't. Issues over funding and finding a location delayed the project for almost five years.
But Hawaii News Now has learned, a building is being purchased with the 6.5 million dollars the city council approved last month.
The exact location is a secret but we can tell you that it's in the Makiki area.
Carlisle, now a defense attorney for a law firm, expressed relief that the project is finally moving forward."This is such an obvious win win for everybody that I don't understand why it didn't get going quicker and more efficiently and effectively,"
City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi says the site could be ready by the end of the year, "The building is already there, just has to be retrofitted to make it secure, but what a great thing,"
The Honolulu Family Justice Center will be staffed with police officers and detectives, deputy prosecutors, and victims advocates.
The location will be unique in that it will also offer long-term, secure housing for victims. Most centers don't provide shelter.
Up to 30 victims will be able to get job training and have access to other services while staying at the center. The only caveat, they have to testify against their attacker.