Thank you to Patrisha McLean, founder and director of “Finding our Voices,” and the eight Maine survivors of domestic violence who will lead a discussion of domestic violence at the Freeport Public Library May 10.

Just two weeks ago at a White House state dinner in honor of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, President Joe Biden asked him to sing songwriter Don McLean’s “American Pie,” which Yoon did to standing applause. Biden even presented Yoon with a guitar signed by Don McLean.

When arrested in 2016, Don McLean was charged with six misdemeanors and pleaded guilty to four, and one of the charges – domestic violence assault – was dismissed after a year. He paid a $3,600 fine for the other three charges while maintaining his innocence, saying he pleaded guilty to settle the case.

As a former volunteer board member of the domestic violence prevention agency Family Crisis Services (forerunner of Through these Doors), I am in awe of Patrisha McLean’s heroic and unrelenting efforts to awaken and support community members about domestic violence.

Patrisha McLean has boldly and swiftly moved into action, putting aside her own pain and suffering to help others, and according to one news article by the Portland Press Herald, “filling storefronts with images and words to raise awareness of domestic violence, empower victims, and reform the justice system to hold abusers to more account.” Equally heroic are the courageous women whose faces appear in the storefront posters.

When asked of her ex-husband’s decision to resume touring, Patrisha McLean responded, “The glorification should end. Glorifying a convicted domestic violence abuser absolutely sends the wrong message.”

Someone needs to tell President Biden.

Paul Kendrick

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