October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to reflect on the impact domestic violence has on our communities and on all of us as individuals.

It’s a time to raise awareness, start dialogues and to reflect on the role that each of us can play in ending domestic violence. It is also a time to remember those who have lost their lives to domestic violence and to honor survivors.

Because domestic violence has common themes, but each individual survivor’s experience is unique, Safe Voices has chosen “Intersectionality” as the theme for this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaign.

Intersectionality is the idea that social categorizations, such as race, class and gender, are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.

How a person identifies can impact the services and support they receive as a victim of abuse.

That is why it is critical for all of us, as we support people experiencing domestic violence — whether our role is service provider, employer, family or friend — to take into account the totality of each individual’s life experience.


Anyone who is a victim or survivor of domestic abuse has many other facets to their identity, as well, and their experience with domestic violence is shaped by their experience of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, culture and any number of other factors.

We know that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and our goal is not to close our eyes to the differences identity can make, but to be mindful and inclusive in our approach to working with victims and survivors.

The fact that each survivor’s story, and their experience of seeking services and support is different, highlights the opportunities that we have as a community to create a safe space for all.

Safe Voices is the domestic violence resource center serving Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties and many people begin the process of seeking assistance by reaching out to us.

However, just as many may begin by reaching out to law enforcement, their employer or a family member. There are endless points of contact in the community, and each of these points offers an opportunity to provide support, information and referrals. October is a perfect time to learn more about what each of us can do to help prevent domestic violence and how to be a helpful resource.

You don’t have to be a professional advocate or service provider to get involved. We can all play a part in an ongoing conversation about domestic violence and send the message that it is not going to be tolerated in our community.


Safe Voices is hosting a variety of events and campaigns throughout the month of October, and we encourage community members to play a part.

Join us for our annual candlelight vigils at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, at the following locations: Festival Plaza in Auburn, Moore Park in South Paris, Meetinghouse Park in Farmington and the Rumford Information Booth.

Organize a Wear Purple Day in your workplace on Oct. 14. Use your social media platforms to promote awareness of domestic violence. Host a lunch-and-learn in your school or workplace.

There are many ways to get involved, and the more we talk about the issue as a community, the better we become at providing a supportive and safe environment for every individual.

This October, Safe Voices invites each of you to consider the opportunities you have to support victims and survivors of abuse and to play in role in ending the cycle of violence.

For more information on any of the events happening as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, contact Kelley Glidden at 207-795-6744 or visit www.safevoices.org.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact Safe Voices’ confidential 24-hour helpline at 1-800-559-2927.

Kelley Glidden is the director of community education for Safe Voices, the domestic violence resource center serving Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.