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New website helps domestic violence victims

Celeste Plumlee spend nine years in an abusive relationship. She is speaking out now in the hopes her story will help other abuse victims. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and victims in Arizona have a new tool to help them end their ordeal.

The Maricopa Association of Governments, along with several local agencies, have created a website to help victims.

The website, FindDVServices, includes an online map to help victims find a shelter, a hospital and financial, social and legal services.

"An interactive web map is now available to guide victims and their supporters to victim advocates and other resources," said Barbara Marshall, Chair of the Association's Domestic Violence Council.

It could help former victims, like Celeste Plumlee. She finally broke off a 9-year-long abusive relationship with her boyfriend 12 years ago.

He said he loved her, but Plumlee remembers it differently.

"I was threatened, I was strangled. He punched me in the stomach during my second pregnancy," she recalled. "He accused me, he undermined me, he raped me, and essentially, he hated me throughout the relationship."

Despite all the abuse, Plumlee says she never called the police.

Although she has had several other relationships with men in the 12 years since she left, Plumlee thinks the abuse will affect her for the rest of her life.

"I'm thinking there's a good chance that I will be single for the rest of my life," Plumlee said. "I might not ever be able to in any way feel like I'm giving up any part of myself in order to be with someone else."

Plumlee said that she's telling her story now in the hopes it may help save other women from going through the same ordeal.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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