HILLSBORO, Ore.- For the past two years, Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton has led a coalition of community members and local leaders in an effort to strengthen resources for victims of family violence.  Their goal, to co-locate child abuse and domestic violence services in a single site in Washington County, is one step closer to reality after the legislature awarded the effort $6.65 million to help purchase and renovate a building.

The funding, comprised of $6.25 million in Oregon lottery bond funds and $400,000 in American Rescue Act Plan Act (ARPA) funds, will be used to develop a new, state-of-the-art facility called the “Family Peace Center of Washington County.”

The Family Peace Center will become Oregon’s first and only facility to offer both child abuse and domestic violence services under one roof. Currently, those services are available, but are in separate locations, including locations outside of the county in Portland.

The Family Justice Center of Washington County (FJC), which currently serves domestic violence victims in Washington County, will continue doing so under the new name “Family Peace Center” once the new facility is up and running and will contain a number of nonprofit organizations.

One of these organizations is CARES Northwest, Oregon’s oldest and largest child advocacy center. CARES Northwest is currently located in Portland with a small, satellite location in Washington County. It hopes to be able to provide services to 100% of Washington County’s children and families at the new Family Peace Center.

Another such organization is the Domestic Violence Resource Center (DVRC). A crisis services provider with the goal of educating, supporting and empowering survivors of domestic violence and their children, DVRC currently operates in the Family Justice Center and will continue to operate in the new Family Peace Center.

Together, these organizations in collaboration with multiple other nonprofits and governmental organizations, will provide trauma-informed services for victims and survivors of all forms of family violence.

“Providing these essential services for the most vulnerable members of our community in an easy-to-access location makes good sense,” said District Attorney Kevin Barton. “I see this effort as a form of criminal justice reform that has the potential to produce a generational change. Put simply, the more resources we provide to young people who have experienced trauma, the less we will need to rely on our criminal justice system when they become adults.”

The FJC, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, opened its doors in March of 2018. Current board president, Judy Willey, and Lee Dobrowolski, the former chief of police for the Hillsboro Police Department, helped bring the center to Washington County. Willey says it is essential that members of every community have access to these services all in one, safe location. 

"The Family Justice Center, along with a number of community leaders that make up the "Washington County workgroup," have been focused on the impact of trauma on children and families. Early intervention is key and through collaboration and partnership with Washington County agencies, leaders, professionals, educators and our diverse community members, we can break the cycle of child abuse and domestic violence and we can save lives. Our strong support from our elected officials, cities and businesses throughout Washington County, enables agencies to come together. The new Family Peace Center will provide families who experience any type of violence within the home the services they need all under one roof,” Willey said.   

Washington County Commissioner Jerry Willey was also instrumental in securing support for the effort. Commissioner Willey says it was the right thing to do for those who call Washington County home.

“This collaboration of service providers in combating domestic violence and helping innocent children traumatized by child abuse will be a significant benefit to families of Washington County,” Commissioner Willey said.

The coalition behind this effort is actively searching for suitable locations for the Family Peace Center. District Attorney Barton wishes to thank those who helped make this possible, especially including overwhelming support from Washington County’s elected and community leaders. Click here to see the letters of support for this effort.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
September 02, 2021