Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.
Some years ago, there was a young woman who dated a man who was handsome and charming and smart, and she was in love with him. The man was also an alcoholic, as it turned out. And one night in a drunken rage, that man held a gun to her head.
The gun did not go off. She was alone in a strange city and had no place to go. She packed her bags and left that place and never turned back.
The rest of the story is that that young woman went to law school. She became a prosecutor, later the Attorney General and now the Governor of the State of Maine.
Yes, I was one of the lucky ones. Many others who experience domestic abuse are not so lucky.
So, to make sure that Maine women who have experienced, or who are experiencing domestic abuse—make sure that they know they’re not alone, and know that escape from violence is possible, I have declared October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Maine.
Here are some things that you ought to know about domestic abuse and domestic violence:
- Domestic abuse and domestic violence affect people and families of all races, ages, genders and income levels.
- Nationwide, one in four women and one in seven men has experienced abuse and violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. And, transgender and gender non-binary people experience a disproportionately high rate of domestic abuse and violence from their partners.
- In Maine, nearly half of all homicides are related to domestic abuse every year. And more than 14,000 people who are affected by domestic violence reach out for help every year.
We can prevent domestic abuse and domestic violence in Maine by spreading awareness, by improving public policies to better support people affected by abuse, and by holding perpetrators accountable.
Every day, but especially during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, may we all do our part to spread awareness about domestic abuse, to challenge the behavior of abusive people, and to support survivors of domestic abuse, whoever they may be.
Together, our individual actions are what will end domestic abuse in the State of Maine.
So, if you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please call the Statewide Domestic Abuse Helpline at 1-866-834-HELP. That’s 1-866-834-HELP.
You are not alone and escape from violence is possible.
This is Governor Janet Mills. Thank you for listening.