FARMINGTON – Franklin County’s 6th Annual March and Speakout for Violence-Free Communities will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, April 25, beginning at Meeting House Park on Main Street. The speakout, which immediately follows the march, will be held at the Old South Church Vestry on Main Street.

Marchers are invited to carry signs and pass out flyers with information about violence and local resources. Following a half mile route winding through downtown Farmington, marchers will arrive at the Old South Church. A short break for refreshments will precede the Speakout, which will include poetry, speakers, music, dancing and an open microphone. Anyone who wishes to is invited to speak and participate.

This year’s theme is Victims’ Rights: Fulfill the Promise. It emphasizes America’s promise to victims to treat them with dignity and compassion; to help them identify and meet their most important needs; and to provide them with the information about their statutory and constitutional rights. The theme was developed by the Federal Office for Victims of Crime.

The March and Speakout for Violence-Free Communities are acts that bring us together as a community to address the effects of violence in our lives and the progress being made to prevent violent crime.

A strong showing of support for these efforts, organizers say, sends a message to legislators about their interest in effective laws, law enforcement as to the need for prompt action, to judges about expectations for meaningful sentences and to offenders about the watchfulness within the community.

The supporters, organizers and participants of the March and Speakout are concerned with all forms of violence that affect families, individuals, and communities: sexual assault, dating violence, racial and ethnic violence, homophobic violence, interpersonal violence in neighborhoods, violence to children and animals, and bully and teasing in schools.

The March for Violence-Free Communities is co-sponsored by more than 20 community agencies, individuals, businesses and churches including the Farmington UMF Public Safety, Jay, Rangeley and Carrabassett Valley Police Departments.

For more information, contact SAVES, Sexual Assault Victims Emergency Services, at 778-9522.

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