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Showing posts from October, 2014

A View from the Beginning

Hi, my name is Patty Plato and my position at Dove, Inc. is the Domestic Violence Shelter Coordinator. I have been an employee since October 1985. I started out as a Vista volunteer and got a permanent position after nine months into my five year assignment. 
Working at Dove has opened my mind and heart. I went from being the Resource Specialist who coordinated volunteers and staff for shelter coverage and on-call, to the Shelter Coordinator in 1987 when the domestic violence program moved from a four unit apartment house to the ten bedrooms at the old St. James convent where I became in charge of non-direct services and oversaw the daily running of the building, as well as filling in where needed to assist co-workers. In 1985 rarely would we get a call from a male victim admitting to being abused.  Nowadays it is part of the norm.  The female victims long ago came to Dove with abuse being their primary issue. Housing and financial assistance was available. 
The clients coming to Dove n…

Bringing New Ideas back to the Neighborhoods

In September I attended my second Regional Neighborhood Network Conference. For those who are unfamiliar with it, the RNNC is a three day conference where community organizers, neighborhood group members, and many others attend workshops together and exchange ideas to bring back to our respective cities, neighborhoods, and communities.
This year, many individuals from Decatur attended the event, including myself and the director of Dove’s Community Services program, Francie Johnson. Seventeen neighborhood volunteers from seven local neighborhood groups joined us on our voyage to Richmond, Indiana. For those who’ve never been there, Richmond, Indiana, is a city of about 38,000 people. There are many successful individually owned businesses and individuals that rolled out the metaphorical red carpet for the 300 some attendees, offering discounted meals and welcoming us with signs and friendly smiles. This year’s conference offered a wide variety of workshops for people to attend -- ever…

A Volunteer's View

After attending the Courtney Queeney lecture:
As a relatively long-time DOVE volunteer, I was going to write a blog from the angle of what touches me most about my experiences interacting with clients, and why I took that first step to take the training sessions and become active at the shelter.  The answer is simple - the children.  They are the most vulnerable, helpless, and potentially scarred for life due to circumstances they did not create, and are powerless to change.  The upcoming Candlelight service will highlight that in a very touching, poignant way.  However, after hearing Courtney speak, her words all too familiar (DV scenarios usually have strikingly similar patterns), I felt a need to expand on a point she made about what "the children" and budding young adults are (and are not) taught in school and society in general. 
Courtney rattled off a list of things, starting with Elementary school topics - fire drills, don't talk to strangers, etc., and later, on t…

It Is Your Business

If you are a sports fan, and especially a fan of the NFL, you probably knew before February 15, 2014, that Ray Rice was a running back for the Baltimore Ravens.  If you follow sports through various media outlets, you probably knew that on that date Ray Rice and his fiancĂ©e, Janay Palmer, were arrested for domestic battery at an Atlantic City, New Jersey casino.  Video surfaced of Rice dragging the mother of his child from an elevator; she was face down and obviously unconscious. Charges against Ms. Palmer were dropped.  Rice was indicted on felony domestic battery  charges by a grand jury on March 27.  He was subsequently offered a diversion program for first-time offenders which enabled him to attend counseling and avoid having the case on his record if he did not re-offend.   During this time, he was supported by his coach and team as a “fine young man who made a mistake”.  On March 28, one day after the grand jury indictment, Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were married.  Commissioner …

Get Involved

In April of this year, Alison Elsea (Macon Co. Child Advocacy Ctr) wrote on Child Abuse Awareness month.  In light of the recent child abuse indictment against NFL player Adrian Peterson and the other domestic violence issues surrounding the NFL it has brought the problem more attention and discussion as we go into October for Domestic Violence Awareness month.  I think most people do not give domestic violence much thought during their daily routines, but the media coverage of high profile athletes have made it impossible to ignore.   Among my own social circle I’ve heard people express outrage and sadness while feeling helpless.  But there is always something you can do.  If you are dissatisfied with the penalties imposed on the players by the NFL make your voice heard to the league.  You can make your voice heard to your representatives on the legislation covering abuse and vote accordingly.  And most importantly you can educate yourself on the signs of domestic violence and the …