Protecting every type of family in San Diego
By Mara Elliott
San Diego City Attorney
As prosecutors, often the hardest cases we face are the ones with victims abused by the people who were supposed to love and protect them. It is the ultimate betrayal: parents who harm their children, children who harm their elderly parents, and intimate partners who harm each other. The betrayal in these cases is so severe that victims need immense support to heal and recover. Our Family Justice Center, known as Your Safe Place, provides this added level of support every day.
When you elected me as your city attorney, one of my first steps was to move Your Safe Place out of the Police Department and into our office. I made that move because you have entrusted your city attorney to always protect the most vulnerable members of our society, especially those who cannot defend themselves. I wanted to set the expectation that attorneys in my office would focus on delivering both justice and compassion to those vulnerable children, parents, partners and spouses who had experienced trauma and betrayal.
One of the strengths of our city is its openness and diversity; we understand families come in all shapes and sizes. That is why we have expanded the work of Your Safe Place from a narrow focus on domestic violence to include sex trafficking, sexual assault, family violence and elder abuse. We have also expanded our layers of protection to include assistance obtaining a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) to help keep weapons away from abusive individuals.
Even as we work to serve every person with whom we make contact, we understand that help remains out of reach for many others. We know there are people experiencing abuse in every community across San Diego, but not every community has easy access to transportation, and not every victim can take time away from work. That is why we have launched the mobile clinics of Your Safe Place. Our dedicated staff is fanning out across the City to provide support to those who need it where they need it – in their own neighborhoods.
Bringing justice and compassion to those who have experienced betrayal, abuse and violence is some of the most rewarding work we do. If you work with a community organization or neighborhood group, we invite you to partner with us. We are actively seeking safe spaces in every community to increase access to our services. This is your opportunity to bring hope and healing to neighbors, colleagues, friends and family.
When community organizations and neighborhood institutions contact the Your Safe Place mobile unit, we work with them to find a convenient time for our team to visit their facilities. Together, we help spread the word about the availability of our services in a manner that is geared toward that community’s comfort level. Later, we schedule appointments with those who need the support.
Our mobile clinics can help the members of your community with free support services to anyone who has experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, family violence or elder abuse. The support may include safety planning, legal help, restraining orders, immigration services, housing support and protection from gun violence. Please consider partnering with us to help those in need in your own community.
To plan a mobile clinic, visit by the Your Safe Place team, please contact Your Safe Place at (619) 533-6000 or via email at Infoysp@sandiego.gov.
If you believe you are in danger, please contact the Your Safe Place, a Family Justice Center, which provides free comprehensive services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, family violence and elder abuse. You are not alone. We are here to help.
Reach the Center at (619) 533-6000 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For assistance 24 hours a day call 888-DV-LINKS (888-385-4657). For emergencies, call 911. More details are online at sandiego.gov/fjc.