The grand re-opening of Glendale Family Advocacy Center marks the fourth time the center has relocated. The new location is across the street from Glendale Police Department at 6830 N. 57th Drive.
At the ribbon-cutting last week, Lt. Dave Medeya, director of the center, said it was designed to be a “one-stop shop” for victims of crime, and that it was available not just for Glendale residents but for citizens and law enforcement agencies through the West Valley. The goal was to be a comprehensive coordinator and provide a safe, comfortable, convenient setting for the most vulnerable crime victims.
The GFAC includes facilities for medical examinations, specialized forensic interviews, counseling services, advocacy and consultation between law enforcement and victim services personnel.
Mayor Jerry Weiers pointed to the crowd and said juSt the numbers of people there “shows you people care.” Then, pointing to the members of city council behind him, Weiers added, “for council, they care.”
Weiers said the center represents a long commitment Glendale has shown to victims.
Police Chief Debora Black said, “Violence places men, women, children and families on a journey, one they didn’t ask for, never expected or deserved to be on. Our goal when they walk through the doors of the Glendale Family Advocacy Center is to start them along a different journey, one of hope and recovery. You see on the other side of these doors, you will find a dedicated team of individuals representing a variety of disciplines working together on a common purpose…Through these doors victims and their families will find the comfort, support and safety they need to become to help them move from being a victim to becoming a survivor.”
One speaker at the re-opening had the crowd riveted with her story and how the GFAC helped her take back her life.
In August 2011, Angela Painter was drugged, abducted and sexually assaulted by a member of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang. She escaped and called 911.
On the day Glendale police were able to make an arrest and were ultimately able to make a conviction, was the day, Painter said, “my journey of a thousand miles began with a single step. I came forward.”
Petrified about retaliation for herself and her family, Painter fell into “a very dark place.” She tried three times to take her life. She admitted she had hit rock bottom.
Painter went on to say, “Rock bottom is the solid foundation on which I have rebuilt my life.”
The Glendale Family Advocacy Center helped her take back her life.
“They protected me, guided me and believed in me,” she said.
Her final words were from an anonymous author, “The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow. But do good anyway.”
There were three colors of balloons in the arch surrounding the doorway to the Glendale Advocacy Center (GFAC) the day of the re-opening. The three colors represent the three main cases investigated at the center. Blue is the color for child abuse, awareness and prevention. Teal is for sexual abuse, awareness and prevention. The third color is purple, representing domestic violence, awareness and prevention.
Carolyn Dryer, Editor, contributed to this story.