“Study: Maine ninth in rate of women killed by men” read the headline on Page B1 of the Portland Press Herald on Sept. 16.

As I read the article full of statistics, committees and lists of recommendations, the situation continues to get worse. Why?

From my own experience, which I shared July 23 (“Maine Voices: There is a way out of domestic violence – even after 43-year marriage”), I lived with domestic violence for many years out of fear, shame and a sense of failure if I gave up and left.

I was willing to almost sacrifice my life rather that admit that I was being abused.

We need to stand united to break the holds of our abusers. Tell your doctor, speak to a therapist, your spiritual counselor, your best friend, a police officer, Family Crisis Services and all the other organizations out there to help us.

The Elder Abuse Institute of Maine has a home specifically for at least three women over 60 to live in for two years if they meet the criteria.

We are not a statistic for people to write about. If you are a victim, reach out and ask for help today.

Mary Louise Liucci-Smith