CAMDEN, Maine — Someone in our state reports a domestic assault to law enforcement every two hours and 22 minutes, according to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.
To help survivors and victims of domestic abuse, the nonprofit Finding Our Voices is partnering with 42 Midcoast Maine eateries to shine a light on the topic.
"When you're in domestic abuse, you feel alone and insignificant, and this is all these businesses saying, you know, 'We care. We care about this, and we're here,'" Patrisha McLean, the founder, and president of Finding Our Voices, said.
Restaurants participating in the month-long campaign created special "Into the Light" menu items. All food and drinks are yellow. The organization's color is yellow, as escaping domestic abuse is crossing over "to the bright side of safety and freedom."
Proceeds from each sale will help those trying to leave abusive situations through the organization's "get out, stay out" fund, which helps pay for women's shelter, car repairs, legal consultations, and food.
Sea Dog in Camden created three menu items for the month of July: a bee's knees cocktail, a mini beer shot, and a lemon meringue pie.
Manager Adrianna Robillard said the restaurant's management wanted to get involved because domestic abuse is often a topic that doesn't get the attention it deserves.
"It has always been, kind of like, shoved down in a dark corner that nobody wants to talk about. But it's real, and it's happening," Robillard said.
McLean is a domestic abuse survivor herself. Her husband was convicted of domestic abuse in her 29-year marriage.
"After that, that's when I realized that I was not alone and how many other women are going through it," she said. "It's time for everyone to start talking about it and recognizing this is everywhere."
Here's a list of all participating restaurants in Searsport, Belfast, Lincolnville, Islesboro, Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Thomaston, Spruce Head, Monroe, and Bath.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, help is available. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.