Guilford County has received a lot of state and national attention – and a good number of awards too – for its Family Justice Center since it opened in June of 2015.

In fact, other similar Justice Centers across the country, which address family crimes and problems such as domestic violence, child abuse, rape and incest and elder exploitation, have used Guilford County’s Justice Center as a model when creating their own.

So, it’s not surprising that Guilford County has been chosen to host the 2023 Family Justice Center and Collaborative Communities Conference – the fifth such conference – which will include speakers like abuse survivors, elected officials, representatives of court systems and law enforcement, and medical, mental health, and social services leaders.

The Guilford County Family Justice Center – now its own county department –  and the Safe Alliance of Mecklenburg County are partnering to host the conference, which will be held  on Wednesday, Sept. 13 and Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Koury Convention Center at 3121 W. Gate City Blvd. in Greensboro,

The Wednesday opening session will begin at 9 a.m.

The event will also include a one-day pre-conference event on September 12 that’s focused on recognizing and responding to strangulation, which is one of the deadliest forms of domestic violence.  That session will be led by the Alliance for HOPE International’s Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention.

The main conference, which starts on September 13, is expected to welcome over 350 people and the conference will be focused on, according to conference promotional literature  “communities planning, developing, strengthening, and expanding co-located, multi-agency work in domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, child abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking.”

The  conference will feature over 50 presenters including Guilford County Commissioner Kay Cashion, Pitt County Sherriff’s Office Chief Deputy John Guard, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.

Guilford County Family Justice Center Director Catherine Johnson said this week that the conference will bring in justice partners from across the state as well as from neighboring states.

“This annual conference brings together advocates and leaders from the various communities who are dedicated to improving access to services for survivors and offender accountability,” Johnson said.

Some of the sessions will address Family Justice Center operations, developing partnerships and teams, data evaluation, meeting the legal needs of survivors, offering peer support services and finding ways to work well with law enforcement.