Domestic Violence Awareness Month is just about over, but the Boothbay Register’s Lisa Kristoff is not letting it go quietly into the night.
Her fictional story of an abused woman’s terrifying ordeal, “Sometimes ‘Someone Else’ is You,” is a powerful portrayal of what thousands of women around Maine experience in their intimate relationships day after horrifying day. Her narrative is non-stop and packed with the hallmarks, or red flags as we refer to them, of abuse.
This woman was fortunate to come out of her ordeal alive. She had three critical pieces of support that made a world of difference to her: the involvement of a bystander, the delivery person, who did not turn and run when confronted by a beaten and bloodied woman, but stayed and called 911; a supportive, non-judgmental friend who stayed by her side throughout her recovery; and the local domestic violence resource center which provided advocacy, emergency shelter, court advocacy, and support group, empowering her to create her own safety plan and take other necessary steps to move on with her life.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, but the more educated we are as individuals, communities, churches, workplaces, healthcare facilities, law enforcement and criminal justice systems, about its dynamics, the more quickly we may be able to connect the dots, see the red flags and avoid disastrous outcomes.
In addition to the services listed above, New Hope for Women offers a toll-free hotline, a transitional housing program offered to women and their children who have been rendered homeless by domestic violence, community education and youth education in schools for students of all grade levels, outreach to island residents, and a certified batterers intervention program, Time for Change.
With the exception of this last program, all of our services are free and confidential and available to women and men who are victims of domestic violence, and also to their friends, family members, neighbors, concerned bystanders ... everyone affected in any way by an abusive relationship. Maybe even you.
For more information, call our toll-free hotline at 1-800-522-3304.
Lincoln County Community Educator
New Hope for Women
Serving Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties