Information Gathering and Sharing
When a survivor arrives at the New Orleans Family Justice Center they will meet with an advocate who will assist with immediate issues and concerns. The advocate will discuss the immediate safety concerns of the survivor and help navigate services and options.
During the initial intake the following information will be collected from the survivor:
- Basic demographic information on the survivor and their family
- Basic background information on the domestic violence, sexual assault and/or stalking incident bringing the person to the NOFJC
- History of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking
During the initial meeting with the advocate the survivor will be asked to partake in a Lethality Assessment which helps to identify the potential level of danger the person may be in at that time. Based on how the survivor answers the questions, the level of danger can range from low, high, escalating or extreme danger. While no tool can adequately predict the level of danger that a person may be in, the lethality assessment is a validated instrument based on identified high risk factors that have been present in actual domestic violence homicides.
The survivor’s confidentiality is paramount at the NOFJC. The survivor is informed that all information shared with the Advocate is confidential and that only the survivor can determine what information is shared and with whom.
Information and Referral
The advocate explains the services that are available through the various partners who are on site and assists the survivor in making those connections. The advocate can also make referrals to appropriate outside agencies to help meet all the survivors’ needs.
The NOFJC believes that providing comprehensive safety planning is critical during many stages of service delivery. Often survivors may be unaware of the many ways batterers may be tracking or stalking them. Safety planning is a useful tool to help survivors identify safety tips at home, work, school and other places they may be in danger. Additionally this process helps identify the steps useful to survivors in planning a safe exit strategy for leaving an abusive partner.
An advocate is available to assist with legal remedies that may be available:
Temporary Restraining Orders – TRO’s
These are civil orders that are filed in civil court that mandate the accused perpetrator stay away from the survivor for a period of 14 days until a full hearing can be heard in front of a judge. At the time of filing, a court date will be set and the court will serve the defendant to appear in court.
Protective Orders – PO’s
Once the TRO is filed, the advocate will connect the survivor with one of our civil legal providers on site for potential legal representation at the court hearing with the judge. If the protective order is granted this protection is in place for up to 18 months and will address child custody issues until a permanent custody order is put into effect.