CAMDEN — Finding Our Voices has its first full-time, paid staff member.
In a news release, the group’s president and founder, Patrisha McLean, said she is grateful to United Midcoast Charities for the $7,500 grant that helped the nonprofit bring Mary Kamradt on as her executive assistant.
Finding Our Voices is the grassroots and survivor-powered nonprofit breaking the silence of domestic abuse across Maine.
Kamradt’s promotion comes as the group is filling more and more gaps in the safety and well-being for women and child domestic abuse victims, according to McLean.
“Mary started as a volunteer, and soon became indispensable in moving forward our innovative projects,” said McLean.
These projects include pro-bono, gold standard dental care for women and child survivors, a fund paying for shelter, legal, car, and food expenses to empower women victims to Get Out and Stay Out and keep their children safe as well, online support groups, healing retreats, and a “Let’s Talk About It” tour that this fall is bringing survivor-led community conversations to public libraries from Millinocket to York.
Kamradt also facilitates the group's online support group for women survivors whose adult children are voluntarily estranged from them due to manipulation of the abusive ex. Finding Our Voices provides a general, weekly online support group as well, facilitated by Pamela Gagnon da Silva who is a therapist through Resilient Women out of Hancock County and a Finding Our Voices board member.
Kamradt previously worked as the data coordinator for Seattle’s oldest and largest domestic violence agency, where her duties included providing all of the government reporting for grants and managing the confidential client database. She moved to Maine in 2021, just when Finding Our Voices became a public charity nonprofit.
“As a survivor myself,” said Kamradt, "I was so excited about the opportunity to bring my sister survivors into the light through the unique and creative programs of Finding Our Voices. I especially appreciate how we provide support that understands and does not judge because we have been there ourselves.” McLean said “Every day I get messages from survivors we are working with about how much they appreciate Mary's compassion and caring in her communication with them. Nothing these days makes me happier than hearing the clacking of computer keys as Mary and I sit side by side in my home office moving forward help and hope for our sisters all across Maine.”
Finding Our Voices is best known for its large posters featuring McLean's photo portraits of 45 Maine survivors including her daughter, an incarcerated woman, and Governor Janet T. Mills. This groundbreaking campaign wiping away the stigma for domestic abuse victims and educating the general public has papered the business windows of 90 Maine downtowns since early 2020, and is now going into the changing rooms of clothing stores and bathrooms of restaurants. For more information about Finding Our Voices visit https://findingourvoices.net.