Hope and Justice Project lights up downtown Houlton for domestic violence awareness

HOULTON, Maine — Ten people have been killed due to domestic violence in Maine thus far in 2018.

That is 10 people too many as far as officials of the Hope and Justice Project are concerned.

About 50 people attended the third annual “Light It Up Houlton” event Thursday evening at the Gentle Memorial Building to remember those 10 individuals and also raise awareness for domestic violence. Sponsored by the Hope and Justice Project, the gathering featured a guest speaker, music by Houlton native Travis James Humphrey, and a short walk through downtown Houlton with participants sporting purple glow sticks.

The Houlton event is one of several in Aroostook County to commemorate the month. Organizers held “Rock It Up” in Madawaska on Sept. 6, followed by “Chalk It Up” in Fort Kent on Sept. 20, with elementary students drawing artwork and messages along the sidewalks in that community.

A “Walk It Up” Presque Isle event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12, at the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library.

“Our message continues to be it takes a community to hold offenders accountable,” said Leslie Gervais, prevention educator for the Hope and Justice Project. “We need to keep victims safe, educate our youth, support survivors, remember those we have lost, stop the violence, end the abuse, instill hope and restore justice.”

The Hope and Justice Project is a non-profit organization that provides community education about domestic violence and offers support services for those who are affected by it in Aroostook County.

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