Today, Governor Paul LePage joined the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV) at the Blaine House for their annual tea and awards ceremony to kick-off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The ceremony recognized six men in Maine for their work to prevent domestic violence. Governor LePage was also recognized for his efforts to end domestic violence in Maine.
"Domestic violence is a serious societal problem; but there is hope because this abusive behavior can be eliminated," said Governor LePage. "I have worked with many of these men to stop domestic violence and seen firsthand the contributions they make. With men like these standing up and speaking up against domestic violence in their communities, they are part of the solution. If more men follow their example, we can make this heinous crime socially unacceptable.
During the ceremony, Governor LePage read and signed a proclamation declaring the month October 2012 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Maine.
In addition to Governor LePage, the ceremony also recognized Sergeant William Bonney of the Waterville Police Department, Matthew Perry of Family Crisis Services, Daniel Walters of A Call to Men, Arthur Jette of Womancare, the Executive Vice President of Franklin Community Health Network, Gerald Cayer, and Male Athletes Against Violence group at the University of Maine in Orono, for their efforts to stop domestic violence.
"It is important for more men to become involved in ending domestic abuse," said Arthur Jette, one of the ceremony's honorees. "Hopefully by recognizing the men who are taking a stand, it will encourage more men to step forward to help stop domestic violence."
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. Governor LePage also conducts outreach events in schools and campuses across the state to speak to students about domestic violence awareness. Most recently, the Governor visited Erskine Academy in South China, where he addressed a crowd of more than 600 students and faculty.