Seven public libraries of Millinocket, Northeast Harbor, Bar Harbor, Camden, Damariscotta, Kennebunk and York are partnering with the grassroots nonprofit Finding Our Voices for the two-month Let’s Talk About It tour running through Nov. 28.

Each of these stops features a different panel of four to seven Maine survivors sharing their experiences of being abused in the name of love as well as the impact this had on their children. Audience members will be invited to pose questions and provide their own thoughts, according to a news release from Patrisha McLean, president of Finding Our Voices.

Kerry Roarke, a pharmacist in Biddeford, stands at the Kennebunk Public Library with her Finding Our Voices poster. Roarke is one of 20 Maine survivors of domestic abuse who will lead Finding Our Voices discussions about emotional abuse, as well as its impact on children, at public libraries across the state this fall. Photo by Patrisha McLean

The 20 survivor participants include Rebekah Lowell, the illustrator of the 2023 Common Ground Fair poster; 83-year-old Mary Lou Smith from Scarborough, who endured four decades of abuse by her University of Southern Maine professor husband; and a young teacher who attributes attending a Finding Our Voices library event a year ago to getting out of her own nightmare of emotional abuse.

Facilitator of the discussions will be McLean, who founded the organization following the domestic violence arrest in 2016 of her now-ex husband, Don McLean.

The two-hour library program includes short films and a reception with refreshments. It is free and open to the public.

Tour dates are set for Wednesday, Oct. 4, at Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor; Wednesday, Oct. 11, at Millinocket Memorial Library; Tuesday, Oct. 17, at York Public Library; Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Kennebunk Free Library; Tuesday, Nov. 7, at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta; and Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the Camden Public Library.


Times as well as more information can be found on the websites of the libraries as well as at

Finding Our Voices provides innovative public awareness campaigns to destigmatize domestic abuse for victims, as well as peer-to-peer support to mitigate the isolation and and financial abuse that are key factors in keeping women trapped in danger at home.

Its hand-up to sister survivors include financial assistance, the pro bono dental program Finding Our Smiles, healing retreats for mothers and children, and online support groups including one for women who are estranged from their adult children due to manipulation by the ex.


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