GUILFORD, Maine — A groundswell of support to end domestic violence, all too familiar with the recent deaths of Amy, Coty and Monica Lake of Dexter, was shown this weekend in Piscataquis County with events held in Dover-Foxcroft and Guilford.
More than 600 people participated Sunday in the annual walk and run held by Womancare of Dover-Foxcroft, which provides support and advocacy to those affected by domestic violence and works to end the abuse. Members of several sports teams from schools in the region including SAD 46, SAD 68, Foxcroft Academy, and SAD 4 walked alongside of youngsters, senior citizens and families.
Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, members of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Miosac and Cosmopolitan organizations on Saturday announced a GFWC initiative to increase member understanding and involvement in programs to eliminate domestic violence in communities across the nation.
That support was hailed by Gov. Paul LePage, who was unable to attend Saturday’s event, but wrote that he is all too familiar with domestic violence and he will continue to speak out against it and work to end it. “It is important that not only individuals but communities come together and demonstrate that any kind of violence is intolerable,” LePage said in a letter read Saturday by Adrienne Bennett, his press secretary.
And together they came Sunday. Christie Nicholas, an eighth-grade student in Dexter, said she attended the event because Monica Lake had been a close friend. She was joined by other members of the field hockey and soccer teams, all of whom wore purple T-shirts that read, “We’re going all the way for you Monica.”
“It’s brought the community of Dexter so much closer together and united against domestic abuse,” she said.
Katie Hall also of Dexter said Sunday’s event was very important because she didn’t want any other people lose their lives to domestic violence.
“It’s really overwhelming in some ways and truly remarkable that so many people came out on a chilly, damp day to honor the memories of the victims and join together to speak out about domestic violence,” Art Jette of Womancare said Sunday.