Thank you to Greg Kesich and Bill Nemitz for their recent columns about domestic abuse. In this past year, we have seen communities take more responsibility for racial violence. It’s a good time for us to address domestic violence more regularly too. Family violence is common. It impacts every town, workplace, school and church. Too many survivors just disappear from our lives. Communities often don’t ask questions or hold vigils until someone is dead. Silence devastates victims and perpetuates family abuse cycles.

Communities need to learn how to talk about family violence, and hold abusers compassionately accountable. Perpetrators are not evil. They have power, control, entitlement, and often profound shame issues. With encouragement, some of them get help and make change.

Please support the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence request to our legislature for increased funding. We need more accessible and coordinated batterers’ intervention care. We need community education about how to identify and stop family violence.

As Elie Wiesel famously said, “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”

 

Rebecca Dorr

Waterville

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