June 21, 2018
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Art program hopes to heal victims of domestic abuse

Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN
Courtney Eastman of Dover-Foxcroft, one of four women enrolled in Womancare's Art in the Heart of Healing program, draws a self-portrait of her feelings Wednesday. (Bangor Daily News/Diana Bowley)
By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — For an hour each week, the four women absorb themselves in artistic expressions of healing.

As their hands mold wire into shapes, draw life stories on paper and put together pieces of shattered pots, their minds recall the domestic abuse they endured — early in life for some and more recently for others.

The women, who are enrolled in a nine-week “Art in the Heart of Healing” program offered by Womancare, weave their feelings into their productions from their darkest moments to their successes.

Womancare is a community-based organization working to end domestic violence.

“It’s just great to be around other women who are working on their own personal journeys,” Lauren, 43, of Dover-Foxcroft said of the program. The woman, who asked that her last name not be used, said the program provided her the company of others who have experienced abuse at the hands of loved ones. Seeing how others have handled their grief, loss and anger has helped her move through her own issues, she said.

The art program was created by staff members Laurie Sokoloski and Angela Alfonso who saw a need for women to confront their traumatic experiences. The program’s focus is to identify strategies that help women regain the power that was stripped from them, according to Alfonso.

In October, as part of Domestic Violence Awareness month, the women’s creations will be on display at the Womancare office.

Events planned to help women such as those served in the art program include the annual Race to End Domestic Abuse at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at Piscataquis Community Middle School. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The event will feature a family walk, which has no entry fee, and a 5K River Run, which has a $15 entry fee.

A community breakfast also will be served from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, at the middle school, at a cost of $5 per person or $12 for a family.

Also in October, the annual Speakout will be held in Dover-Foxcroft and candlelight vigils will be held in Dexter, Milo, and Greenville.

For more information on any of the activities, call Womancare at 564-8165.



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