City opens Family Justice Center as safe haven for victims of abuse, sex trafficking

A one-of-a-kind safe haven for domestic abuse and sex trafficking victims just opened its doors on Oahu.

The Family Justice Center of Honolulu is a live-in shelter for female victims who are willing to cooperate and testify against their accused attackers.

Honolulu prosecuting attorney Keith Kaneshiro spearheaded the initiative. In contrast to transitional housing, the Family Justice Center will be run by law enforcement officials to keep residents safe.

“This is for people who have cases pending, and once the cases are through, they can remain until they are ready to leave this place,” he explained.

In addition to safe housing, the facility also provides services to give residents a better life.

“This means the victims have another option besides staying in a violent environment,” Kaneshiro said. “We’ll look for jobs for them. We have sex trafficking victims who come here and the only life they know is prostitution. We want to get them out of prostitution and what we do is we give them job training, and we’ll find jobs for them.”

Kaneshiro says the city spent $6.2 million to purchase and build the center, and up to $500,000 will be spent each year to provide services.

Residents will begin moving in at the end of the month.

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