As luck would have it, the warning sirens which usually are tested at 10:00 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in Decatur, were late, going off about 10:17. This needed test pretty much rang the whole time Teri Ducy, Domestic Violence Program Director, was sharing her 2 minute speech at the Press Conference, and made it pretty hard to hear. So below is her comments:
Good morning. As I think about the overall theme of this special day – in recognition of Dove’s 50th Anniversary, “Needed then….Vital now” – I find this to be very fitting.
Back in the early 70’s – which was at just the beginning of the domestic violence movement – there were no shelters – only safe houses in some communities – private homes who allowed a woman to stay maybe for a night or two……Domestic violence was a “just a family matter” – abusers were told to “just go drive around the block” – leave each other alone – this is a civil matter” – shelters worked in their own silos – law enforcement had their silo – State’s Attorneys offices had their own - and so on……..
Were services needed back then?? Absolutely!!!
Fast forward to today – New Laws – Coordinated Community Response Teams – collaborations formed – nearly 60 DV shelters across the state of IL alone – offering a variety of comprehensive trauma informed services, close partnerships with law enforcement – VITAL SERVICES – services that were indeed needed back then in the 70s before anyone truly worked with and understood the dynamics of domestic violence and how this crime affects all victims and their children, and the many barriers they were faced with.
Add on top of that COVID-19 – a time when more than ever – our services are more vitally needed now than ever before – victims being isolated in their homes with their abuser, with less resources being readily available, less chance for privacy or ability to call the police – basically a prisoner in their own homes.
Happy 50th Anniversary to Dove – a time to celebrate the many programs our agency has offered and continues to offer to those in our community – those who are vitally in need – as we work toward justice, equality and understanding among all people!!