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A call to remember; a call to action
REGION -- The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV) and domestic violence resource centers across the state ask churches and other community buildings to ring their bells for two minutes at noon on Wednesday, August 31.
“We remember and honor the lives of Mainers lost this summer due to domestic violence,” stated Julia Colpitts, executive director, “and we are issuing a call to action to the general community. After the tragedies in Winslow, Dexter and New Gloucester this summer, people are asking how to make it clear that Maine will not tolerate a climate of family violence.
“The bell ringing is a symbol of healing and action. People need to remember, and they also are looking for ways to make positive change in their own communities,” stated Margo Batsie, Member Services Coordinator at MCEDV, “We are encouraging people to reach out for help if they or someone they care about is in an abusive relationship. There are trained advocates ready to answer the call 24/7 (1-866-834-HELP) across Maine.”
Diane Gallagher, Oxford County Community Educator for Safe Voices, formerly the Abused Women's Advocacy Project, said "Ideally the ringing will last two minutes -- one minute to remember and one minute for action."
She has also been contacting the Oxford County faith based commuty with the bell ringing information and other ways to participate.
Here are a few ideas that don’t involve bells to get you started:
* Include a piece on domestic violence in the church newsletter, and/or print it on purple paper;
* Purple displays (door wreaths, ribbons, flowers, etc);
* Ask members to wear something purple on a designated day;
* Include domestic violence in a sermon.