Governor LePage Proclaims October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

September 30, 2014

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today joined state and local officials, representatives from law enforcement, business and community leaders and victims’ advocacy groups at the Blaine House to mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In a special ceremony, Governor LePage expressed gratitude to business leader and philanthropist Ernie Boch Jr. for his gift of $25,000 to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. Mr. Boch, President and CEO of Subaru of New England, presented Governor LePage and Julie Colpitts, Executive Director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic with the check. The funds will be used to raise awareness and provide much-needed funding to assist victims of domestic violence, especially children.

“I am very grateful for Ernie’s donation, which will help assist some of the most vulnerable victims,” said Governor LePage. “Domestic violence, in my opinion, is the worst kind of abuse. This crime has a devastating and lasting effect on our families and communities. Perhaps, those hurt the most are our children and it is heartbreaking. I know the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence will put this money to good use and the people who need it most will be helped.”

There have been 10 homicides in Maine this year – seven have been domestic violence-related. Every murder is a somber reminder of the reality many families face, and why efforts to raise awareness about domestic violence and provide Mainers with resources about this abuse have remained a top priority for Governor LePage since taking office in 2011.

“On behalf of Subaru of New England, I am honored to join forces with Governor LePage and raise awareness to the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness month,” Ernie Boch Jr, President & CEO of Subaru of New England said. “Domestic Violence affects almost everyone, nearly 3 out of 4 of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. The statistics are staggering; children who witness domestic violence in the home have the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported by police are murdered by a partner. We all have a part to play in ending domestic violence. Therefore, today I am here to do my part by donating $25,000.00 dollars to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. I urge other businesses to do the same.”

The Governor has worked very closely with the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence during the past four years on this important issue and he once again proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month to highlight the affects the abuse has on Maine families and communities, support victims and celebrate advocates who dedicate themselves to eradicating the violence.

"Each of us has a right to have safe and respectful love in our lives and for our children. We also have a right to demand this from the role models our children look up to,” said Julie Colpitts, Executive Director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic. “Domestic violence will only end when we all raise our voices strong, clear and loud that we will not tolerate violence and abuse in our world any longer.”

To locate your local Domestic Violence Resource Center, call the Statewide Helpline at 1-866-834-HELP (4357) or visit Efforts by Governor Paul R. LePage to address domestic violence in Maine:

• Implemented a State of Maine workplace domestic violence policy (2011)

• LD 1711, “An Act To Mandate the Use of Standardized Risk Assessment in the Management of Domestic Violence Crimes” (2012)

• LD 1760, “An Act To Ensure Notification to Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking When Defendants Are Released on Bail” (2012)

• LD 1841, “An Act to Ensure Funding for the Victims’ Compensation Fund” (2012)

• LD 1867, “An Act To Protect Domestic Violence Victims” (2012)

• Signed an Executive Order establishing the task force to reduce domestic violence through technology (2012)

• Allocated $100,000 to Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (2013)

• Allocated $10,000 for completion of Maine Murder Victims’ Memorial (2013)

• Created a Task Force to strengthen enforcement of protection from abuse orders (2013)

• L.D. 1237, “Resolve, Directing the Department of Corrections To Amend Its Rules Pertaining to Certification of Batterer Intervention Programs” (2013)

• LD 1764, “An Act To Implement Certain Recommendations of the Criminal Law Advisory Commission Relative to the Maine Bail Code, the Maine Juvenile Code and the Maine Criminal Code and Related Statutes” (2014)

• Spoken at more than a dozen Maine High Schools about Domestic Violence Awareness

• Supported the Annual Taylor Tip-Off Tournament to help children affected by domestic violence