AUBURN — For survivors of domestic abuse and violence, asking for help is only the beginning.

‘She just held my hand while I told her everything’ is how one domestic abuse survivor described her initial meeting with a Safe Voices advocate. The survivor and the advocate worked together to find resources that would help her start over and take back control.

‘I’ve met friends and feel like I’m getting my confidence back. I go to church. I take my dog out for walks. I don’t feel like I have to hide anymore.’

It’s a story that has played out countless times at Safe Voices, the only shelter and support services organization for victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and exploitation in Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties.

With outreach offices in all three counties, Safe Voices provides one-on-one safety planning, support groups, information and referrals, court advocacy, shelter, education, professional training, and so much more. In addition to its three community-based offices in the tri-county area, Safe Voices operates three shelter facilities: two shelters for survivors of domestic abuse and one confidential safe house for survivors of sex trafficking. The organization’s safe house is the only one of its kind in Maine.

Safe Voices supports over 2,200 survivors annually, no matter their gender identity, and is driven by the simple yet vital truth that all people deserve to be treated with dignity.


Developing and maintaining a strong safety net for those seeking support, assistance, and a life free from violence and abuse is a mission that has inspired Norway Savings Bank for over a decade. NSB has contributed over $57,000 to support Safe Voices, including the start of a new three-year commitment to assist with operating costs. In addition, NSB team members have performed hundreds of volunteer hours at the organization, including Lin Dehetre, Market Manager VP at NSB’s Auburn branch, who has served on the Safe Voices’ Board of Directors since 2011.

‘Being a board member has been one of the most rewarding experiences knowing that we are making a difference to help end domestic violence and create social awareness in our communities,’ she said. ‘Safe Voices is committed to empowering survivors, embracing the opportunity to freely offer help, and ending the cycle of violence while promoting prevention and peace. It is so powerful.’

‘This support strengthens our community and ensures that critical resources and services are available to the people who need them most and, most importantly, when they are most needed,’ said Grace Kendall, Director of Development and Engagement for Safe Voices.

Beyond the crucial individual help and advocacy given, Safe Voices works to educate the community about the seriousness and prevalence of abuse.

‘All of us, whether we realize it or not, know someone experiencing domestic abuse and violence,’ said Elise Johansen, Executive Director of Safe Voices. ‘We have an opportunity to come together and ensure that survivors get the support and resources they need with compassion and dignity. By committing our time, our talent, and our treasure to this vision, we will create a safer and more just future for our communities.’

The work to create communities that no longer tolerate abuse and violence, while also making sure those in need of assistance receive it, is a praiseworthy mission that commands respect.

‘Safe Voices creates deep and lasting opportunities for survivors and is dedicated to setting our communities on a path to their full potential,’ said Dan Walsh, President and CEO of Norway Savings. ‘It’s a privilege to give this support to an organization that is giving hope to survivors and inspiring meaningful social change in our world.’

If you need help, Safe Voices operates a 24/7 helpline that is free, confidential, and anonymous at 1-800-559-2927.

For more information about Safe Voices, including ways you can offer support, visit

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