Domestic Violence Resources Available in Maine
People all across Maine are still reeling from the tragic death of an entire family in what police are calling a domestic violence murder-suicide. And domestic violence resource centers are reaching out to victims, encouraging them to talk to someone. No one, regardless of age or gender, deserves to be abused.
Working in news can be challenging, when we have to report sad and disturbing stories. But never has it been so difficult for me as it was on Sunday evening when I had to blog about a family of five that was found dead in their Saco apartment.
It only got more difficult on Monday when the medical examiner ruled it a murder-suicide and we got the details. A father, reportedly distraught over finances, killed his three children, his wife, and then himself.
Neighbors said they'd never seen any evidence of abuse in the friendly couple with the happy kids. A family member came forward and said that the mother had told them, earlier in the day, that her husband had threatened to kill himself. And so we ask ourselves, why was she still there? Why didn't she take her kids and go?
Easy to ask. But not easy to answer. Bottom line, we often don't see the abuse that goes on in families because it happens behind closed doors. So it's up to the victims to reach out. To talk to someone. It's an incredibly isolating thing. Victims feel like no one will understand. Like others will judge them. Blame them. And the abusers do an awesome job of furthering those ideas. It's a valuable source of control for an abuser.
But there are resources in Maine to help. There are advocates who will talk to the victim and help them find their way out of the situation. I chatted, yesterday, with Margo Batsie of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence and she told me the thing with domestic violence counseling is that each situation is unique. There's no textbook or guideline with steps to follow to get the victim to safety. Each advocate has to tailor the plan to each victim's circumstances. And they do it very well. They can help. But the victims need to reach out.
We will be airing my full conversation with Margo this Sunday morning on our public service program, Maine Concerns. I encourage anyone who thinks they may be a victim to listen. If you know someone you think may be a victim, encourage them to listen. And reach out. Get help. Talk to someone. Before it's too late.