MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - As a part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 7-13, Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney, Matt Wiese, announced the opening of satellite offices at KI Sawyer as part of the Blueprint for Safety Domestic Violence Project.
Joshua One Seven Enterprises, Inc., the building owner, has partnered on this KI Sawyer project to create a secured space specifically for this purpose. The facility provides a secure entrance and two separate secured offices, one for a Domestic Violence Advocate that will be staffed during regular business hours by the Marquette Women’s Center, and the other for law enforcement from Forsyth Township, Michigan State Police, and the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office.
Law enforcement will have 24/7/365 access, the ability to interview victims/survivors, and a work space where law enforcement can prepare and write investigative reports. Additionally, there will be a third area that will be considered a “soft space” that will be shared by the property owner, advocates, and law enforcement. The soft space is furnished with comfortable furniture to offer a more welcoming and warm environment. Advocates will be able to use the space for victim/survivor focus groups, support group meetings, and law enforcement can use the space to conduct interviews that are trauma informed and victim centered.
The Sawyer Blueprint Office is funded by a Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women Rural Grant awarded to the Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Grant funds are also used for partial funding of the Sawyer Women’s Center Advocate position, The Women’s Center Blueprint Advocate, the Prosecutor’s Office Blueprint Coordinator, as well as partial funding for enhanced prosecution of domestic violence cases.
This will be the fourth year of the Blueprint for Safety Project in Marquette County. The office location was selected because of an identified need to address domestic violence cases in the Sawyer area. Although the area only represents 9.4 percent of the total county population, 23.4 percent of all charged domestic violence cases in the county originated from this area in 2017. It is hoped that the access to advocacy, and an enhanced law enforcement presence in the area will increase safety and assist those suffering from domestic violence to have access to much needed services.
An open house is being held at the newly created Blueprint for Safety Offices on Thursday, April 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. The offices are located at 328 Commando in KI Sawyer. The media and public are welcome to attend.