New Marjaree Mason Center facility breaks ground

FRESNO, Calif.

On Monday ground broke on what will become the Marjaree Mason Center in Clovis.

A dirt lot in Clovis will soon become a safe haven for women and children looking to escape a past of domestic abuse.

On Monday morning crowds cheered during a ceremony on the grounds of Marjaree Mason's newest center to house families who survived a violent past.

Pam Kallsen with the non-profit says the $1 million facility was made possible through partnerships with the city and private donations.

It will house seven abused families and provide them with on site counselors.

"The other beauty of having the Clovis shelter is we do feel that somebody is from the Clovis area and if the abuser is looking for them we have three other shelters that we can move them to that are very confidential," Pam Kallsen of the Marjaree Mason Center said.

According to the state attorney general's office law enforcement agencies in Fresno County go to an average of 8,000 calls of domestic violence every year.

"As a police officer we see calls where women and children have been battered to where they have been killed and often in very violent ways," Clovis Police Chief Janet Davis said.

But Davis believes many women never report the abuse.

"Women are afraid to actually report the crime because really what they are afraid of is the repercussions on the other end," Davis said.

District Attorney Elizabeth Egan hopes the new building will bring awareness and encourage those suffering silently to speak up.

"It brings the problem to the forefront, it makes it hopefully acceptable for a woman to reach out and get help before it gets to a point where she is injured," Egan said.

The home is scheduled to open in the spring 2013.

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