Domestic violence center faces imminent shutdown - FOX 13 News

Domestic violence center faces imminent shutdown

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Paula Moore is a survivor of domestic violence.

"He grabbed me and I can remember him leaving bruises on both my arms," she said.

For three years, she said her boyfriend abused her physically and emotionally.

"I had left him probably a dozen times, but every time, he was able to convince me to go back," she said.

She finally broke free and with her sister's help, founded the Family Justice Center of Hillsborough County.

"When I walked through those doors, I almost felt a sense of relief, just to see those people and that they knew how they could help me," she said.

The center is a one-stop shop for survivors of domestic violence. Twenty agencies and programs are housed under one roof to help with everything from restraining orders to food and clothes.

"We save lives. We hear that from the people we save all the time," said executive director Nikki Daniels.

But that could all end. The center needs $170,000 to keep going.

"We're able to give them relief for the moment, and hope for the future that things will get better and they will have the tools they need to be safe," Daniels said.

The Children's Board of Hillsborough County provides most of the funds for the budget, but cut its contribution in half. Daniels said it is an economic decision with a human cost.

"I think lives will be lost and people will give up and stay in relationships where people don't realize they have an option," she said.

Paula Moore finally realized she had an option and said this place helped save her life.

"I found a way to put my life together," she said.

If money is not raised, the Family Justice Center will close its doors on July 31.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version on this story incorrectly referred to the Family Justice Center as a "shelter." It is a resource center, not an actual shelter.

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