HOULTON, Maine — October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and the Hope and Justice Project will once again be busy holding events throughout Aroostook County.
The group plans to hold “Light it Up” Houlton at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 at the Gentle Memorial Building. The event features a presentation and guest speakers, including music from Travis James Humphrey, followed by a short walk through town. Walkers will be given purple glow sticks to highlight awareness for domestic violence.
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 to take place Friday, Oct. 12, at the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library.
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.
According to Leslie Gervais, prevention educator for Hope and Justice Project, several kiosks have been set up around Houlton, featuring a table where people can leave anonymous messages of support for those impacted by domestic violence.
“We are also following suit with the entire state by using the slogan, ‘Take Action Maine,’ to raise awareness about domestic violence,” Gervais said. “Community members are being asked how they can take action, writing it down and posting it at each display site.”
Displays are located at the Cary Memorial Library, Houlton Higher Education Center and Houlton Regional Hospital.
On the group’s website, domestic abuse is described as “an intentional pattern of coercive, controlling, and often violent behavior that keeps the abuser in a powerful position and his or her intimate partner or family members feeling trapped and afraid.”
The Project’s mission is to provide support for individuals and professionals so they can help victims plan for safety; hold abusers accountable; repair the harm abusers cause; and change the mindsets that cause abuse and violence to allow both to go on.
The Hope and Justice Project has a free and confidential hotline number: 1-800-439-2323. For more information about the Hope and Justice Project, visit the organization’s Facebook page or website: https://www.hopeandjusticeproject.org/.