October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The abuse of power destroys the victim’s self-worth and self-respect. People who have been victims of abuse live in denial, fear and control from their abusers.

I lived “a life of quiet desperation” for many years. Today, I am a powerful woman. I have power over no one but myself. I wish that for all people.

I have a bumper sticker on my car that reads “No excuse for abuse” (any kind of abuse). Abuse comes in all shapes and sizes … there is no “one size fits all.” Abuse is a sinister secret kept by many victims: children, women and men.

Abusers prey on the weaknesses of their victims, feeling powerful and untouchable with no fear of consequences. They have no understanding of the forever path of destruction they leave behind. The scars of their abuse live deep inside each of us, no matter the kind of abuse.

We are inundated daily with stories of abuse from the four corners of our planet and right in our own backyards. Violence and inhumanity to children, women and men seems to be the daily litany of our world.

I am not naive to believe there is one simple solution. We need to speak out and let our voices be heard. Complacency and indifference will keep things the way they have always been … hidden under the carpets of our homes, our churches, our schools, our government, the world of entertainment, etc., etc., etc.

In Maine, advocates are available 24 hours a day to listen and support you at 1-866-834-4357.

Mary Louise Liucci-Smith


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