The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV) is proud to host its 2nd Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Day at the State House on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012. Visitors and Legislators will have the opportunity to learn more about domestic abuse through a wide array of powerful exhibits from Domestic Violence Resource Centers from across the State of Maine.
"We're proud to help showcase the great work of domestic violence advocates and educators in our state capital again this year," said Jill Barkley, Public Awareness Coordinator at MCEDV. "These remarkable individuals offer services to victims and their children throughout the year, as well as provide necessary training to members of our communities about this social issue."
Governor Paul LePage will address the group during a news conference at 11:30 a.m. in the Hall of Flags. "We are fortunate to partner with the Governor to further our common cause," said Julia Colpitts, Executive Director at MCEDV. "His support of our shared mission to protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable has been invaluable."
Governor LePage has pledged to make domestic violence awareness a top priority for the Administration. On Wednesday, the Governor will unveil legislation that aims to strengthen Maine's domestic violence laws and increase protection among victims. "It will take a much tougher justice system to stop this violence. I have teamed up with the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, and Public Safety Commissioner Morris, district attorneys, victims and the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence in an effort to improve Maine's domestic violence related laws," the Governor said.
Tuesday's news conference will also showcase the work of MCEDV in engaging men in the efforts to end violence in relationships. For the past several months, MCEDV has partnered with the University of Maine Black Bears, specifically the "Male Athletes Against Violence" group on the Orono campus. Athletes have been involved in the creation of a statewide public awareness campaign to end dating violence. "The group will share their unique message about how important it is for everyone to take a stand against relationship violence," said Barkley. "We are thrilled to partner with the Black Bears to raise awareness and reach other men and boys throughout the state with our message".
Governor LePage commends the University of Maine male athletes who are taking an important step toward ending this type of violence. "It is not only a women's issue, but rather one that men can help to eliminate with a unified message. As a man, it is important to speak up about this. As a man, it is important to say this abuse is wrong. As a man, it is important to lead by example," stated the Governor.
The public is invited to view the exhibits in the Hall of Flags beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday. For more information about the work of MCEDV, please visit www.mcedv.org