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Jersey City opens Municipal Court Safe Serenity Room

The Lewis S. McRae Justice Complex will have a new safe room for domestic violence survivors.
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The Lewis S. McRae Justice Complex will have a new safe room for domestic violence survivors.

Jersey City has announced the opening of a new Municipal Court Safe Serenity Room to help domestic violence survivors during court proceedings with offenders.

The project was created at the Lewis S. McRae Justice Complex, where the space includes a large screen monitor to see and hear court cases so survivors and children do not have to be in the same courtroom as their offenders. The room also comes with furniture and a child-friendly area to provide a calming atmosphere, according to a press release.

“In Jersey City, we understand the role of a prosecutor is much more than bringing a case to court,” said Jake Hudnut, the Jersey City Municipal Prosecutor, in a press release. “We value the importance of making domestic violence survivors whole by mitigating the challenges associated with coming to court and giving them resources to thrive long after their case is closed.”

“This is a significant step that plays a much bigger role in our broader efforts to address all public safety issues,” said Mayor Steve Fulop. “The goal here is to provide added safety for domestic violence survivors, and we’re taking it a step further by providing families with the services and resources extending beyond the courtroom to help them successfully move forward with their lives.”

The city is also partnering with Women Rising and Sarah’s Daughters, two community non-profit organizations, to provide volunteer victim advocates who offer in-court referrals. The city’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Division of Violence Prevention will also offer Duluth-style counseling for defendants.

Per the state’s protocols, all municipal courts remain virtual, but the Safe Serenity Room will be available for those before and after any court proceedings.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at mkoosau@hudsonreporter.com or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.

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