MCEDV thanks Governor LePage for providing crucial leadership for an emerging bipartisan response to domestic violence. We also thank him for recognizing Art Jette, a long time advocate at Womancare, a Domestic Violence Resource Center serving Piscataquis County. Cindy Freeman Cyr, Womancare executive director states: “It is an honor to work with Art everyday. He lives and breathes this work.” Art is a wonderful example of men and women statewide doing domestic violence advocacy work. We applaud the Governor’s focus on putting accountability where it belongs, on the actions of the abuser. This year’s legislative initiatives are intended to improve the criminal justice system’s ability to hold abusers accountable, prevent re-offense and increase victim safety.
Current pending legislation would institute evidenced-based, validated risk assessment tools to help determine who is most dangerous and focus the use of scarce resources. Bills are in place to change the Bail code to manage high risk offenders more effectively, to introduce strangulation into the Maine Criminal Code, improve stalking response and improve Department of Corrections notification processes to victims.
Maine people understand the awful reality of domestic violence homicide, for victims, their families and the communities they lived in. Too many victims have died this year, too many survivors and their children continue to live in fear. A shared commitment to change things for the better has emerged from these tragedies, engaging women and men throughout Maine.
Julia Colpitts, MCEDV director states: “We welcome Governor LePage to the community of committed advocates who have worked over decades to bring this issue into public awareness—many like him who have emerged from abuse strengthened by their resolve to end family violence in the next generation”.