The creation of so many organizations and agencies to help domestic violence victims sometimes makes it confusing for them to know where to go for help, says the American Bar Association Journal. San Diego City Attorney Casey Gwinn said the movement to stem domestic violence has created “problems from a proliferation of good things” with a “gantlet of help and services” that is confusing to victims already overwhelmed by their situations.
At the same time, helping victims of domestic violence sort through a wealth of resources appears to be a welcome challenge for lawyers and their allies. “No one entity can do it alone,” said Diane Stuart, director of the U.S. Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women. Stuart said the next big push is the Bush administration's Family Justice Center Initiative, which is putting $20 million into 15 communities around the country to offer centralized, comprehensive services for domestic violence victims. San Diego's family justice center–regarded as the best in the nation–provides 120 professionals from 24 agencies under one roof to help victims find access to advocates, police, civil attorneys, probation officers, counselors, physicians, and other resources. The bar association’s Commission on Domestic Violence has trained thousands of laeyrs to help.