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A campaign aimed at ending domestic abuse expands in Maine

“I survived,” says one woman, “and you can, too”

PORTLAND, Maine — You may have noticed the posters, about 1,600 of which have been placed in the front windows of businesses around Maine, or perhaps you’ve seen the bookmarks, about 20,000 of which have been distributed in police stations, libraries, and a wide variety of stores and businesses.

Prominently displayed on the posters and bookmarks are the faces of 40 women from Maine ranging in age from 18 to 81. What they have in common is that they’re all survivors of domestic abuse.

The posters are the work of Finding Our Voices, a non-profit started by photojournalist Patrisha McLean after she broke away from an abusive marriage. Its mission: to “empower girls and women to recognize, avoid, safely leave and heal from dangerous relationships, and promote systemic change.”

The posters and bookmarks are now being distributed in and around Portland, Bangor, and Augusta, communities where they hadn’t been displayed before. Each of the 30 women is shown looking into the camera, accompanied by a quote reflecting her experience, her pain.

The words are sobering: “My father almost killed my mother. I loved him.” “He didn’t let me out alone in public for 10 years.” “It can happen to anyone.” “I survived and you can, too.”

Patrisha McLean joined us on 207 to talk about how Finding Our Voices is expanding its reach. Watch our interview to learn more. For people who need help right away, the Maine Domestic Violence Hotline is 866-834-4357. The National Hotline is 800-799-7233. If it’s an emergency, call 911.