PHILLIPS MURRAH: Phillips Murrah Fellows Tour Palomar, Oklahoma City's Justice Center

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On Wednesday, Nov. 1, Phillips Murrah Director Eric Davis and members of the Firm’s 2023 Fellows program received a facility tour of Palomar, Oklahoma City’s Justice Center. During the tour, Palomar’s Volunteer & Engagement Manager, Andie Taylor, explained how each area integrates into their holistic, wrap-around services for victims of domestic violence.

“Palomar is so appreciative to Phillips Murrah for their commitment to the community,” said Hillary Burkholder, CEO of Palomar. “We were honored to host them for a tour to share about the family justice center model and holistically serving victims through collaboration.”

Areas within the facility include private client and group rooms, a shop that includes essentials like hygiene items, clothes, and food; a cantina with snacks and meals; public computer access; and a children’s sanctuary. Andie explained how the rooms and common areas are intentionally designed to help those who need Palomar’s affirmative, wraparound services feel safe and empowered to begin the journey toward protection, hope, and healing. Upstairs houses the partner space, which includes Palomar and partner organizations, and includes collaborative spaces such as a zen room and a game room that helps foster collaboration. OCPD houses their domestic violence detectives on site as well.

“I never thought about the intersection of police detectives and attorneys and therapists all together onsite,” said PM Fellow Neena Alavicheh, “It was really incredible to see them all together there to advocate and protect the survivors.”

Some of the services that can be accessed on site include pro bono legal services to survivors through Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma and the Palomar Legal Network; safety planning and advocacy through their certified agency partners YWCA, La Luz, and LCDA; and mental health support through numerous community based mental health partners.

“I thought the facility was really put together well considering how strategic they were with the design,” said PM Fellow Darren Seward. “I liked how they implemented mental health considerations into the overall space.”

Some of the ways that people can get connected to the mission include a survivor-led advocacy group called Voices OKC a secondary survivor group that meets monthly; a newly launched Teen Board that educates teens about Palomar’s mission and helps them give a voice to how Palomar connects and educates with that age group; and their evidence-based camp for children who have witnessed violence, called Camp HOPE.

“I learned that I am surer than ever I want to practice family law,” explained PM Fellow Diamond Mayberry. “I got into law school with the idea I could use my education to help society’s most vulnerable people, and seeing the amazing work being done at Palomar reminded me what my dreams are.”

ABOUT PALOMAR: Palomar offers victims and survivors of abusive relationships and domestic violence in Oklahoma City a place where clients and their children come first as they work through the healing process. Palomar’s collaborative, safety-focused, victim-centered, wrap-around services provide protection, hope and healing.