The Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Services Unit is pleased to announce the grand opening of its Safe Havens Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center. Located at the Department of Human Services at 2100 Washington Blvd., the program will serve families who have been affected by domestic violence. Judges, Arlington County Board members, court staff and service providers celebrated the grand opening of the center at a ribbon cutting on January 10, 2018.
Arlington Safe Havens will provide a cheerful, safe environment for children to visit with a parent who has used violence. Visitations will be supervised by trained staff. The center will also provide a safe place for visitation exchanges, so that children can continue their relationships with both of their parents, even if the parents cannot safely interact to exchange the children for visits. Supervised visitation and exchange centers improve safety for the community at large, eliminating the need for families in conflict to meet in public places.
“Supervised visitation and exchange is a tool that has been missing from the array of services that we can provide victims of domestic violence in Arlington courts”, said the Honorable George D. Varoutsos, Chief Judge of the Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. “I have noted for years that this is a critical gap in Arlington County, and I asked Project PEACE to identify opportunities to develop a center. I am thrilled that this project has come to fruition and that members of our community will have a safe place to go for visitation and visitation exchanges.”
Safe Havens will operate Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The center is funded via a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women through the Department of Justice and is operated by Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Services Unit. Project PEACE, Arlington County’s coordinated community response to domestic violence and sexual assault, secured the grant in 2017.