In his ongoing effort to highlight the devastating effects domestic violence and abuse has on Maine, Governor Paul LePage today travelled to Erskine Academy in South China to speak with students about the issue.
Upon his arrival, the Governor received a tour of the school from members of the student council. He also mingled with students before addressing nearly 600 teens at an assembly that focused on domestic violence awareness. "As I look around the room, I see the faces of the young men and women who will become the next generation of leaders and role models. You will have the power to shape the values in your communities and what is socially acceptable among your peers," Governor LePage commented to students.
Each student received a booklet with a personal note from the Governor, information and resources for supporting domestic violence victims, as well as an awareness wristlet with the Governor's motto, "If it is to be, it is up to me."
"These young men and women will become our next generation of leaders, and I want them to know that they have the power to stop domestic abuse. If we are to make domestic violence socially unacceptable, it is up to all of us to stand up and speak out against it," said Governor LePage. "Furthermore, young men must have the courage to man up and recognize their role in stopping this heinous abuse."
Ending domestic abuse continues to be a key priority of the LePage administration. During the past 20 months, Governor LePage has joined with Republicans, Democrats, the Chief Justice, Attorney General, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence and others to promote legislation that strengthened Maine domestic violence-related laws, including a law in effect today, which helps reduce repeat offenses in domestic violence cases. The Governor has also established a working group to explore electronic monitoring to allow domestic violence victims to know their attacker's whereabouts. In July, Governor LePage allocated $18 thousand from the Governor's contingency fund to help pay for costs associated with electronic monitoring.
"Domestic violence is a serious societal problem; but there is hope because this abusive behavior can be eliminated," stated Governor LePage.