SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Family Justice Center will now offer services to victims of sex trafficking, City Attorney Mara Elliott announced Friday.
The Family Justice Center primarily assisted victims of domestic violence prior to the expansion, according to Elliott's office. The facility will offer free services like counseling, legal advice and job training to trafficking victims in safe and non-judgmental environmental.
``In offering these new services, we are responding to a need,'' Elliott said. ``We discovered that many of our domestic violence clients have also been trafficked for sex. That's why the SDFJC is bringing on new, specialized community partners to ensure that any victim who walks through our doors gets the specific kind of support they need.''
According to Elliott's office, sex trafficking is an $800 million industry in the San Diego area, second only to drug trafficking. In San Diego County, the average age of a sex trafficking victim is just 16 years old.
The Family Justice Center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The center accepts new clients before 4 p.m. Residents can visit the Family Justice Center's website, sandiego.gov/fjc, or call the center at (866) 933-4673 for more information on available services.
``There's no judgment at the Family Justice Center,'' said Yvette Lopez-Cooper, the center's executive director. ``We offer services free of charge, no questions asked, to anyone in need. We provide a safe place for victims of sexual exploitation and their families to reclaim their lives, seek justice and begin healing.''