A tragedy opened Dionne's eyes in 2005. The conservative mother of two was married to a police officer in San Leandro when she got the dreaded knock on the door late one night. She learned that her husband, Dan, was shot seven times while responding to a disturbance call.
The months that followed were dark times. In addition the whirlwind of legal proceedings, Dionne’s grief turned into depression, and she struggled to support her children who also were grieving.
The conviction of her husband’s killer brought no solace, and Dionne saw aspects of the criminal justice system that she had never cared to notice. She began to see that solely focusing on punishment is not bringing healing to victims of crime. She met more and more survivors of crimes who likewise needed help recovering from the trauma of their experience but knew not where to go for such help.
Today Dionne is committed to replicating a trauma center model that is helping crime victims in San Francisco. Under one roof, the center streamlines assistance with the various legal, law enforcement, social services, health and mental health needs following a crime. This can help people avoid self-medicating and destructive behaviors that only worsen public safety.
Money for such centers exist within state funds for compensating victims, but Dionne needs help in educating the public on their need.