by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Attendees at Clackamas Womens Services gala raised more than $90,000 to support its new A Safe Place Family Justice Center.More than 180 supporters came together in at Oregon Golf Club recently to raise funds for Clackamas Women’s Services’ newly established A Safe Place Family Justice Center. CWS raised roughly $90,000 to support its work at A Safe Place and at its confidential emergency shelter.

“We have been saying all along that everyone has a role to play in launching A Safe Place Family Justice Center for Clackamas County,” said Melissa Erlbaum, executive director at CWS. “And on behalf of the board and staff at CWS, I am so thankful to our partners who have been true Heroes of Hope by stepping up into the role of making the family justice center a reality in our community.”

A Safe Place Family Justice Center is the hub of support services for victims and survivors of domestic violence in Clackamas County. It opened its doors last Dec. 10 with eight on-site partner agencies and a dozen other partners throughout the county. CWS provides the majority of the direct services at A Safe Place.

“This has been a dream of CWS for a long time’” Erlbaum said. “And we are so honored to provide so much of the services at A Safe Place.”

Suzanne Lacampagne, CWS board president and partner at Miller Nash LLC, talked about her time during law school volunteering for a legal clinic to help victims of domestic violence obtain restraining orders. She spoke of the seemingly impossible hurdles that victims had to overcome to establish lives free of abuse.

“So now this is really an exciting moment for Clackamas County as we are on the verge of transforming the way our community responds to domestic violence through the Family Justice Center,” Lacampagne said.

This year’s Heroes of Hope Gala was chaired by CWS board member Katey Hummel. Proceeds from the benefit support CWS’s support programs for victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence in Clackamas County.

Incorporated in 1985 as Clackamas County’s only shelter for women and children escaping family violence, CWS is still the county’s primary provider of services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In addition to emergency shelter, CWS operates a 24/7 crisis line and wrap-around comprehensive services including safety planning, referral and advocacy for accessing housing, legal and other services, counseling and support groups, youth prevention education and community education.

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