AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage will proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in a ceremony at the State House on Wednesday.
During the ceremony, LePage will “make a major announcement regarding a community initiative that supports families and victims of domestic abuse,” according to a news release issued Tuesday by the governor’s office.
“Domestic violence takes the lives of too many every year here in Maine. The physical violence alone is heart-wrenching,” said LePage in the release. “However, the emotional scars from domestic violence are lasting as well.”
Members of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence and WomanCare, two organizations that fight domestic violence and support victims, are expected to attend, as are state and local officials, representatives from law enforcement, business and community leaders and victims’ advocacy groups, the release said.
Six of 17 homicides in Maine this year have been related to domestic violence.
LePage, who left home at age 11 because of an abusive father, has made fighting domestic violence a priority during his term as governor.
Earlier this year, LePage signed into law a bill aimed at ensuring that courts can require that offenders convicted of domestic violence complete batterers’ intervention programs as part of their sentence. The law was sponsored by Sen. Emily Cain, D-Orono, and approved unanimously by the Legislature.
In July, the governor directed $100,000 from his contingency account to fund help for victims of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.