DOVE was established in 1978 as a result of the committed efforts of a number of volunteers. Members of the Quincy Mayor’s Commission on Women identified battering/spousal abuse as an issue of concern, and determined the need for a hotline, shelter, and legal advocacy for battered women in the community. Concerned community residents worked together with the Commission as well as the St. Boniface Church, Germantown, Quincy City Hospital, Quincy Police Department and the Office of the Norfolk County District Attorney to establish DOVE’s shelter and hotline. Volunteers initially covered the hotline beginning in July 1978; it is now staffed 24/7 by trained individuals who have completed DOVE’s 35-hour domestic violence training. In September 1978, DOVE opened the 1st domestic violence shelter on the South Shore.
DOVE received its designation as a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization by the IRS in 1979. The Legal Advocacy Program also began in 1978. The next year, further supportive services were provided to shelter residents, and in 1981 the current shelter building was purchased. DOVE’s services and community presence expanded in 2003 with the creation of the Community-Based Services & Outreach Office, now called the Community Advocacy & Prevention Services office. In 2004, DOVE expanded its outreach and prevention services by launching YouthSpeak, DOVE’s healthy relationships (and dating violence prevention) youth education program.
In the fall of 2008, DOVE added a Civilian Domestic Violence Advocacy Program, with an Advocate who serves the Quincy, Randolph, and Holbrook Police Departments, providing direct outreach to victims in “domestic incident” calls to which the police respond. She also conducts a weekly psycho-education group on Healthy Relationships with female offenders, many of whom are also victims of domestic violence, in the Norfolk County Community Corrections program.
Since 1978, DOVE has sheltered nearly 5,000 families, answered more than 45,000 calls through our 24-hour hotline, and served over 3,000 clients through our community-based services.