Oregon’s First Family Justice Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary

A Safe Place 10th Anniversary


Community leaders, elected officials, and supporters filled the auditorium at the Clackamas County Development Services Building, on Thursday, February 22, 2024, to celebrate A Safe Place Family Justice Center’s 10th Anniversary.

Those in attendance heard from Melissa Erlbaum, Executive Director of Clackamas Women’s Services, Clackamas County District Attorney John Wentworth, and Clackamas County Sheriff Angela Brandenburg. 

Melissa Erlbaum told attendees, “When we initially envisioned Oregon’s first Family Justice Center over a decade ago, we dreamed big and started small. As soon as we opened the doors on December 10th, 2013, we knew that we had already outgrown the space.”

Since opening, A Safe Place has provided support and advocacy to over 7,000 survivors seeking services at the center for the first time and had over 32,000 visits for services. Additionally, over 4,000 survivors have received individual assistance in applying for protective orders through A Safe Place’s Video Court Program.  In 2023, A Safe Place assisted with 56% percent of protective orders filed in Clackamas County.

During the celebration, District Attorney John Wentworth committed to adding another valuable service to A Safe Place in March.  He told attendees, “Beginning this year my office will offer assistance at A Safe Place to families in child support matters.  Families fleeing abuse shouldn’t have to navigate the complexities of child support on their own, and we will be here to help.”

District Attorney Wentworth called A Safe Place “A beacon of hope, a symbol of resilience, and a testament to what we can achieve when we come together as a community.”

Sheriff Angela Brandenburg who served as Director of A Safe Place for five years said, “The last 10 years has demonstrated that the Family Justice Center model works for our community and that when we work together with one common goal to improve the lives of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, and elder abuse through empowerment, coordinated service, and collaboration, our community is a safer place.”

Sheriff Brandenburg told attendees, “One thing has been clear from the very beginning: we need more space to serve the needs of our community. A space that can accommodate all of our partners and the services they provide. A space for onsite medical assessments. A space where childcare is readily available so that kids can play while families get the services they need.”  

Sheriff Brandenburg said, “It's not just about creating physical space; it's about creating space for hope, for healing, and for the future we envision—a future where no one lives in fear of family violence or abuse.”

Attendees were invited to return to the auditorium in the Clackamas County Development Services Building on May 22, 2024, for an event that will bring our community together to help shape the future of the Family Justice Center. Anyone interested in attending the May event can email ASafePlace@clackamas.us for further details.

Family Justice Centers are a nationally supported model that focuses on reducing the number of times victims tell their story, the number of places they must go to for help, and increasing access to services.  

A Safe Place is located in a roughly 9,400-square-foot building built in 1960 located at 256 Warner Milne Rd, Oregon City, Oregon 97045. 

A Safe Place onsite partners include: Abuse Recovery Ministry Services, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office, Clackamas County Children, Family and Community Connections/H3S, Clackamas County Circuit Court, Clackamas Women’s Services, Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Department of Human Services Adult Protective Services and Self-Sufficiency Programs, Family SkillBuilders, IRCO, Safety Compass, and Victim Rights Law Center.

A Safe Place partners work together to improve the lives of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, and elder abuse through empowerment, coordinated service, and collaboration.

Help is available – If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence or abuse, please contact A Safe Place Family Justice Center at 503-655-8600 or call Clackamas Women’s Services' 24-hour crisis and support line at 503-654-2288.

To learn more visit ASafePlaceFJC.org