Part of the panel of men talking Nov. 28 about growing up with abusive fathers, from left, are Scott Denman and Jory Squibb. Jon Wilson, right, a Finding Our Voices board member, is facilitating the discussion. Patrisha McLean photo

Men plan to talk publicly about growing up with abusive fathers and breaking the cycle at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the Camden Public Library. The Finding Our Voices event is free and open to everyone.

Male panelists from Waldo, Knox and York counties will share some of their own stories and participate in a community conversation. Topics will include how their childhood experience with domestic abuse shaped their relationships with their mothers and impacted them as parents, intimate partners and professionally. They also will discuss the process of healing and breaking the cycle.

Facilitating the discussion will be Jon Wilson of Brooklin, a Finding Our Voices board member, founder of WoodenBoat, and founder/president of the nonprofit Just Alternatives which supports victims of violence and violation.

The event caps a Let’s Talk About It Finding Our Voices tour that in 2023 brought a panel of domestic abuse survivors to Millinocket, Northeast Harbor, Bar Harbor, Rockport, Damariscotta, Waterville, Freeport, Kennebunk and York. All panelists on these stops were women, according to a news release from Patrisha McLean CEO/founder Finding Our Voices.

McLean, which supports women and child survivors of domestic abuse, said, “with more and more men confiding in me about growing up with abusive fathers, and that includes emotional as well as physical, I felt it was important to give them a platform for their voices, bringing the issue of boys growing up in domestic abuse, and men living with this childhood trauma, out in the open and getting the public talking about it.

“My hometown Camden library is where Finding Our Voices first launched four years ago as a photo exhibit of my photo portraits of survivors. So I was thrilled when the library director Nikki Maounis said ‘yes’ to once again breaking ground by hosting one of our survivor-powered events.” McLean said it is a perfect time to be shining a light to how domestic abuse impacts children, with “holidays a particularly miserable and dangerous time when you are living with an abusive family member.”


Scott Denman, director of a national environmental phlianthropy, is one of the panelists. “The ‘Breaking the Cycle’ part of the title is very important,” he said. “The thing that children so hate — seeing their moms hurt by the father or significant other — can be used as a catalyst to show them how they can and must break the cycle, watching for the tendencies in their own relationships to replicate what they experienced growing up.”

According to another panelist, inventor and retired boat captain Jory Squibb, “so much of my own earlier behavior was a puzzle to me and others at the time. Sharing my story now has been central to understanding it at last.”

Sponsors of the event include Gartley & Dorsky, Leslie Curtis Designs, Rickey Celentano, and Stephen and Helene Huyler.

Commissioner of Corrections Randall Liberty was the November guest of McLean’s WERU-FM radio show talking about feeling helpless as a boy when his father, who served jail time for domestic violence, brutalized his mother.

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