San Diego center offers relief for survivors of domestic violence

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – First the Super Bowl, now the Grammys. The message of stopping domestic violence is being broadcast from large platforms to big audiences.

People are listening, but more importantly, it seems some of those in the most dire situations are taking action.

Sergeant Elliot Stiasny is the operations manager of the Family Justice Center in San Diego.

Women who go there the week before Valentine’s Day will be given roses and chocolate. They’ll also be given the tools to get out of a domestic abuse situation.

“They do deserve better, come somewhere safe, and cheer them up a little bit,” said Sergeant Stiasny.

The one stop shop of the San Diego Police Department offers victims counseling, restraining orders and referrals to shelters.

In the last year, those who run the Family Justice Center have seen a 100 percent increase in the number of clients walking through the downtown doors. That’s double the number of women reaching out for help.

Sergeant Stiasny said the domestic violence survivor who spoke on stage at the Grammys and the president’s unique message to prevent sexual violence broadcast at the awards show, helped to empower women who suffer at the hands of others. 

 “As it comes out in the mainstream media, it no longer has the stigma where people are afraid to say to a friend or neighbor to come in on their own,” said Stiasny. 

“It starts with yelling in the face, punching a wall behind your head, accusing you of cheating, always accusing you of cheating,” said Kimberly Springer, who married not one, but two abusers.

She had to break the cycle within herself to become a strong survivor and advocate for others.

“The most dangerous part of that relationship was after I left because he strangled me after I left,” Springer said.

She got help from the Family Justice Center as well. They assist people from all over the county.

“If you see a warning sign, stop. Don’t try to make an excuse, ‘Oh I want to help you.’ Believe your gut instinct,” she added.

Kimberly will be a guest on this week’s San Diego People.

The show airs this Sunday at 11 a.m.

Categories: KUSI