Scarborough Police Department said that it stands with Through These Doors, the domestic violence resource center for Cumberland County, during October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Courtesy photo Scarborough Police Department

 

Courtesy photo Scarborough Police Department

SCARBOROUGH — October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time where members of the public can educate themselves on an issue that needs everyone’s attention.

The Scarborough Police Department voiced its support for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, saying that it stands with Through These Doors, a domestic violence resource center serving Cumberland County, because “there is no excuse for domestic violence.”

Through These Doors wants citizens to be aware of domestic violence and know that everyone plays an individual role in addressing and ending the problem, said Rebecca Hobbs, executive director.

“We all have a role to play in addressing and ending this problem,” Hobbs said. “It’s not up to professionals solely, but as neighbors and friends, as coworkers. Each one of us can see when we’re concerned about somebody who we might think is a victim, and we might be able to see if we think someone is a perpetrator. And there are things we can all do.”

Since 1977, Through These Doors has expanded, engaging with community partners, and provides individual services as well as a full range of community education and training in schools, law enforcement agencies, and workplaces, Hobbs said.

“Now we have 35 staff members and are doing lots of work to support victims and survivors of abuse and also to change common attitudes and beliefs and coordinate responses so that we’re all doing the best we can to keep people in Cumberland County safe from domestic violence,” she said.

Through These Doors provides individual assistance through a helpline, Hobbs said. In the center’s 2019 fiscal year report, there were over 5,300 helpline calls made.

In 2020, Through These Doors has several goals for October in an effort to broaden domestic violence knowledge, Hobbs said.

“When someone is abusive, you’ll often see they are showing controlling behaviors of their partner.” she said. “They’re attempting to control where they go, who they see, what they do, maybe what they wear, maybe what they eat. Those controlling and dominating behaviors are tactics of abuse and sometimes they show up in public places, or if you know someone well, you can start to see those. And you have an op(portunity) to talk to the person exhibiting the behaviors and say, I see what you’re doing that’s not ok. Or to talk to the person living with it and say, I’m concerned about you — how can I help?”

Through These Doors is partnering with Portland City Hall, Cumberland County, local business owners, law enforcement agencies, health care facilities, municipalities, and community members in Purple Light Nights, a global campaign, she said.

“The idea is to increase awareness of domestic violence through something that’s relatively easy to do, which is just shining purple lights,” Hobbs said.

With one of its 2020 goals being to prioritize diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality, Through These Doors is also participating in the White Ribbon Campaign, which seeks to engage men in efforts to end gender-based violence, the organization said.

Through These Doors is also translating awareness posters spread throughout Cumberland County organizations and businesses into six different languages, Hobbs said.

Hobbs recommends people suffering from domestic violence to call Through These Doors’s confidential hotline, 1-800-537-6066, she said.

“Our advocates are nonjudgmental,” she said. “They are not telling people what they should do. I think sometimes someone has to be leaving the relationship or the home in order to reach out to us for support and that is not true. That phone call is free, confidential, and can even be anonymous.”

“Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone who doesn’t have the same history as perhaps a family member who’s perhaps been listening to the story for a while,” she said. “That can be helpful, too.”

People interested in Through These Doors or domestic violence education can also visit www.throughthesedoors.org.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: