Discovering the Julian Center

Brooklyn Raines, Features Editor

I never really knew what the Julian Center was until the day I visited the center to conduct an interview with the Vice President of programs and community collaboration Ms. Betsy Whaley. While waiting in the waiting room I noticed how peaceful the center was, even though the sound of cars driving up and down Meridian was audible, the aura of the center was still peaceful.

While interviewing Whaley I noticed how much she truly cared about the survivors of domestic violence and how passionate she was about her job. After the interview Whaley offered to take me on a tour of the center, I gladly accepted it. On the tour of the center Whaley allowed me to see where the survivors stayed, as we made our way through the center I noticed the beautiful artwork and murals that lined the walls. Some of the artwork done by volunteers from the Herron School of Art and Design, some by volunteers from Eli Lilly and the remainder of the artwork done by survivors at the center. I was amazed at the beauty behind the artwork that came from the survivors, even though these women and men were going though a very tough time in their lives they were still able to create beautiful art, their work inspired me.

The women that we passed by had such a liberated spirit to them. As we walked by them they all greeted Whaley with such compassion and I was greeted with polite smiles. I was amazed when I found out what else the center offers to the survivors that stay there. There was an IPS teacher that had her own classroom where the children of the the survivors could carry on with their educations. In the year 2013 as many as 52 children attended the IPS on-site school. Out of the many faces The Julian Center assist, 44 percent of those faces are children. Along with the on-site classroom there is also a playroom and outdoor playground for the children. There was also a computer lab where survivors could develop computer skills they would need for jobs.

From my visit the main thing I picked up was that there are people in the community that cared. The Julian Center is successful because of the donations that people make, but also the volunteers that help. It’s a beautiful thing that here in Indianapolis there is a center that cares about survivors of domestic violence and their families.