Friday, February 21, 2014


JANUARY 22 B 31, 2014

My start date for Dove Domestic Violence Program was suppose to be January 6, 2014. I say Asuppose to be@ because that was the first day of our big snow storm. So I had a snow day for my Aassumed@ first day of work and began on January 7, 2014.  In order to be capable to perform the duties of my position as Domestic Violence Shelter Specialist, it was required of me to take the 40-hour domestic violence training. The 40-hour training was held in Bloomington, Illinois. It was very interesting, informative and, last but not least, very eye-opening!

 Each day we had interesting speakers present with power point presentation and Aon-the-job@ experience related to their areas of expertise.

 I learned that Domestic Violence is a pattern of abuse which may include verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.  The cycle of violence systematically undermines the self confidence of the adult victim and inhibits her attempts to flee and become self-sufficient. Through the repeated cycle of violence, adult and child victims experience shame and humiliation.  Depression, anxiety and fear become pervasive and limit the victim=s ability to improve the quality of her life without outside support and intervention.   

This is where the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence plays a very important part in helping the victims of Domestic Violence.  I learned that Dove Domestic Violence offers vital program components, i.e., 24-hour Hotline, 24-Hour Emergency Shelter and Support services, Criminal Justice & Legal Advocacy Services, Adult Individual Therapy, Support Groups for Youth and Adults, and Educational Groups for Groups & Adults. 

 During my 40-hour training various topics were covered, such as Abuser Characteristics, Power and Control, Types of Abuse, Cycle of Violence, Orders of Protections, Animal Abuse, Effects of DV on children, Safety PlanningYand the list goes on!  I would highly recommend attending the 40-Hour Domestic Violence Training. It was put together very well with many interesting topics covered by individuals specializing in their own areas of expertise.    This training has given me a basis of excellent information on which to build my desire to help the abused. It has also provided me with a network of friends on which I can call on for assistance regarding the many different areas of Domestic Violence. I=m thankful I was able to attend this training and am certain it will be put to good use!
Cheryl Carpenter, Shelter Specialist
Dove hosts Domestic Violence Education and Volunteer Training, usually twice a year.  The next training will begin on Monday, May 19 and end on Wednesday, June 4, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on the following days:

May 19, 20, 21, 22
May 27, 28, 29, 30
June 2, 3 4

at our Dean Simcox Conference Center, 302 S. Union, Decatur
Registration will be open April 7 through May 12.  Call 217.428.6616 to begin the registration process after April 7.  Check the web site for additional information
We have a great need of volunteers in our program!  Some of the areas you could be of assistance after completing the required training are answering the hotline, covering the shelter, co-facilitating a support group, filing, assisting with orders of protection, assisting with groups, and more.  Seeking volunteers for the counties of Macon, Moultrie, DeWitt and Shelby.





Thursday, February 20, 2014

RSVP awarded CNCS Grant

We are so excited to let you know that RSVP was awarded a $62,768.00 grant to support senior volunteer activities from the Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS).
These funds were awarded as part of a competitive grant process for RSVP, one of three Senior Corps programs administered by CNCS. Established in 1971, RSVP engages older Americans in volunteer opportunities across the country. These volunteers have been a critical resource for nationwide response efforts—in everything from hunger prevention to natural disasters including Hurricane Sandy.

RSVP has been sponsored by Dove, Inc. since 1975 in Macon County and 2001 in DeWitt County. There are currently more than 600 active RSVP volunteers in Macon and DeWitt County who support our local communities in areas like Education, Veterans and Military Families Support, Healthy Futures, Disaster Services, Economic Development, and Environmental Stewardship. RSVP volunteers alone served more than 120,000 hours in the last fiscal year that enhanced our community. Receiving this grant ensures we will be able to continue our RSVP programming for the next three years.

"By working with students, providing job training, and helping veterans transition into civilian life, volunteers age 55 and over are helping to transform the lives of the people they serve, " said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "Our communities need the talents and skills of all Americans as we continue moving this nation forward. The dedication of RSVP volunteers shows that service benefits not only organizations, but those who serve as well."
This grant is one of 175 RSVP awards provided to volunteer organizations across the country to support senior volunteer activities in areas including education and veterans and military families.

To become a part of our local RSVP or for more information, please contact the staff at Dove at 428.6616 or 935.2241 or check our website at

Friday, February 14, 2014

Healthy Happy Valentine's Day

As we observe Valentine’s Day this week, much of society’s attention is directed toward relationships. While the true winners on this occasion are no doubt the florists, card shops, candy stores and jewelers, many people judge the strength of their relationships on the size of their gifts.   In the eyes of some, the size and cost of the gift determine the health and strength of the relationship.  This, however, is not one of the hallmarks (no pun intended) of a healthy relationship.

Relationships, like people, come in all shapes and sizes.  There are romantic relationships, family relationships, friend to friend relationships, workplace relationships……and the list goes on.  When most people talk of relationships they refer to the romantic relationships.  What is a healthy relationship?  Do they truly exist?  How do you make that happen?  As a domestic violence advocate/counselor, I see unhealthy relationships daily.  Sometimes when I talk with victims about healthy relationships, they look at me as if I was talking about unicorns or mermaids. Healthy relationships do exist, but not without effort and commitment.

Healthy relationships require mutual respect, honest and open communication, love and concern for the other person, and lots of hard work.  As I child, I grew up on a farm.  I remember the old farmers saying “Good fences make good neighbors”.  That philosophy applies to good relationships as well; healthy boundaries are also necessary for a successful relationship.  In fact, healthy boundaries may be the most important factor in developing healthy relationships.  Just as the fences kept each farmer’s livestock from infringing on his neighbor’s fields, we set boundaries to establish our personal limits as to the behavior we will accept from other people.  When we set boundaries, it is our responsibility to communicate those limits to the people with whom we interact.  It is important that we take responsibility for our feelings, by using “I feel” and “I think” language, being careful not to be casting blame on our partner.  Each of us has the right to have our own thoughts and feelings without apology to anyone; we also have the responsibility to “own” those thoughts and feelings.  It is also important that we recognize the right of the other person in the relationship to have their own boundaries; indeed, we need to encourage them to do so.  While fences are usually permanent and immovable, boundaries are often more fluid.  They may change a little from situation to situation, or from relationship to relationship, but with a healthy boundary there will be a point where compromise stops.  You may refer to this as your “bubble” or “personal space” but you will learn that you feel happier and more settled when you have established your limits.

A healthy relationship does not mean that everything is always happy or that you will never disagree.  Differences of opinion occur in healthy relationships but they are dealt with from positions of equal power, and handled with respectful discussions.  Sometimes an answer is worked out………sometimes you just agree to disagree.  When communication is open and honest and carried out without fear of repercussions or elements of power and control, it is perfectly acceptable if a couple do not agree on everything.  In fact, the world would be pretty boring if we always agreed.  When you have true love and concern for your partner you always want the best for them and for yourself.  Sometimes, relationships are referred to as a 50-50 proposition.  In reality, they are 100% propositions, with each partner providing some of that 100%.  Rarely is it 50-50.  Quite often it may be 60-40, or 90-10.  But in a caring, healthy relationship, each person will have the opportunity to be the 90 and to be the 10 as circumstances dictate.  Superman only exists in the movies.  In a healthy relationship, each partner gets the chance to be Superman (or woman) and an equal chance to be not so super.

The era of instant communication……..Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc….has added new avenues of communication and new problems to be dealt with.  A friend recently gave me his idea of a healthy relationship………one that has never been mentioned on Facebook.  So on this “holiday” devoted to love, I wish you all healthy and happy ……and Facebook-free……..relationships!  Happy Valentine’s Day!!
Susie Kensil, Shelby County Domestic Violence Coordinator

Friday, February 7, 2014

Who Knew?

RSVP Staff and Volunteers did!
Military families stationed overseas are often living on one income and money can be scarce. To help, RSVP is collecting coupons!   We=ve collected all varieties of coupons -- from all manufacturers, current and up to six months past their expiration date.  We've shipped the coupons to different military bases across the world.  Then, the military families can purchase items such as food, diapers, cold & flu products, even dog food at the base PX.
Thanks to the community=s generosity RSVP has been able to ship over 500,000 coupons to struggling families overseas, but we still need your help!!!
We need people to keep sending us the coupons and we are also looking for financial donations to pay for the postage when shipping the flat rate priority boxes. Collecting and preparing these coupons is much easier than shipping. Shipping cost, like all postage, has gone up again! One large flat rate box cost is $15.45 to ship. That box can contain up to 85,000 coupons -- that=s a whole lot of help to many families on a tight budget.

If you can help out, please send your check to

Dove, Inc., RSVP Coupons
788 E. Clay, Decatur 62521

And if you are in the Decatur area, please be sure to get your coupons to our 302 S. Union offices.

The winds of change are upon us

  As the summer fades away, the winds of change are upon us.    The wildflowers are in bloom along the roadways, the crops in the fields are...