Shining a light on domestic violence

ELLSWORTH — With the help of the chambers of commerce in Ellsworth and Machias, NextStep Domestic Violence Project has developed a series of ways that businesses, organizations and individuals may show their support for domestic violence survivors during October.

The following are ways that people across Hancock and Washington counties may “shine a light” during Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

Businesses and organizations may pick up a free Domestic Violence Awareness purple tote bag at chambers of commerce in Ellsworth and Machias. Among the contents are posters, window signs, purple lights to hang and purple lapel ribbons. Participants may also contact NextStep if they prefer to have a tote bag delivered or if they need additional purple lights for their window display.

Another way to support the cause is to participate in the “Shine a Light” Walk in Machias on Friday, Oct. 16, beginning at 5 p.m. The walk begins at the Chamber of Commerce office and ends at the Bad Little Falls gazebo. (Note: social distancing guidelines will be adhered to during the walk.)

At 4:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, all citizens of Hancock and Washington counties are encouraged to turn on every light in their location to shine a light in support of survivors of domestic violence.

“We chose Friday, Oct. 16, for our “Shine a Light” day because it is the day before the new moon of October,” said Susan Jonason, community engagement associate. “Domestic violence can’t exist in the light and so turning on all lights at 4:45 pm is a symbolic way of showing that we want domestic violence to end, now. We want all survivors to see that they are not alone, that our communities care. Whether lights are left on for 15 minutes, or left on to shine all night, we hope everyone will participate and share this message.”

“We are grateful to our volunteers, our business partners, and our donors who help us to shine a light on domestic violence year-round. During DVAM, we have a chance to really focus attention on this issue that touches all of us,” said Executive Director Dorathy Martel. “All are encouraged to come up with additional ways to show support for domestic violence survivors. Simply wearing the color purple on Oct. 16 is a great way to participate!”

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