The Family Violence Project on Wednesday called out to those affected by the death of Valerie Tieman of Fairfield, offering support to them and anyone else affected by domestic violence.

“While many of the facts in this tragic situation remain unclear, one fact is certain: Domestic violence affects everyone, including the victim(s), surviving victims in the case of homicide, other family and all members of the community,” the organization said in a statement.

The Family Violence Project is the domestic violence resource center for Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Melody Fitch, executive director of the Family Violence Project, issued the statement, which says abuse and violence, including lethal violence, can occur in any neighborhood and every community.

“While it is troubling to recognize, a quiet neighborhood in which everyone seems to know one another is as likely a scenario for inexcusable violence and abuse as any other. When we open our eyes and seek to understand, we will begin to break the isolation and silence that surrounds domestic violence and perpetuates its existence,” she said in the statement.

Fitch said anyone affected, directly or indirectly, by domestic violence, could call the Violence Project 24 hours a day at 1-877-890-7788 to speak with an advocate who can help with confidential safety planning, information and support.

“If this tragedy has left you or someone you know feeling unsafe, worried or anxious, please reach out for support,” Fitch said in the statement.

Other resources include the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, of which the Violence Project is a member, which has information available at

According to the 11th Biennial Report of the Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel, “On the Path of Prevention,” dated June 2016, 21 homicides were committed in 2014 and 14 of those were categorized by the state Department of Public Safety as domestic homicides. Eight of the 14 homicide victims were children under the age of 13.

In 2015, 25 homicides occurred, 10 of which were domestic homicides, according to the report. The total of 24 domestic homicides accounted for 52 percent of the state’s homicides in those two years. The Review Panel issued several observations of domestic homicide cases, including that perpetrators make it dangerous for victims to leave relationships.

“In over half the cases reviewed, victims had left, were leaving, had asked the perpetrators to leave or were involved in protective strategies or supportive services. Due to the perpetrator’s determination to maintain control over the victim, any perceived change in the status or security of the relationship may escalate the perpetrator’s risk of committing additional harm or killing a victim.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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