Men will talk publicly about growing up with abusive fathers and breaking the cycle at the Camden Public Library, 55 Main St., Camden on Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Finding Our Voices event is free and open to everyone.
Male panelists gathering from Waldo, Knox, and York Counties will share some of their own stories and then participate in a community conversation. Topics will include how their childhood experience with domestic abuse shaped their relationships with their mothers; impacted them as parents, intimate partners and professionally;' and the process of healing and breaking the cycle.
Facilitating the discussion is Jon Wilson of Brooklin, a Finding Our Voices board member, founder of WoodenBoat, and founder/president of the nonprofit Just Alternatives which supports victims of violence and violation.
The event caps a “Let’s Talk About It” Finding Our Voices tour that in 2023 brought a panel of domestic abuse survivors to Millinocket, Northeast Harbor, Bar Harbor, Rockport, Damariscotta, Waterville, Freeport, Kennebunk and York. All panelists on these stops were women.
Patrisha McLean is the founder and CEO of Finding Our Voices, which supports women and child survivors of domestic abuse. She said, “With more and more men confiding in me about growing up with abusive fathers, and that includes emotional as well as physical, I felt it was important to give them a platform for their voices, bringing the issue of boys growing up in domestic abuse, and men living with this childhood trauma, out in the open and getting the public talking about it.
"My hometown Camden library is where Finding Our Voices first launched four years ago as a photo exhibit of my photo portraits of survivors. So I was thrilled when the library director Nikki Maounis said YES to once again breaking ground by hosting one of our survivor-powered events.” McLean said it is a perfect time to be shining a light to how domestic abuse impacts children, with "holidays a particularly miserable and dangerous time when you are living with an abusive family member.”
Camden Public Library is excited to collaborate with Finding Our Voices once more to bring this important program to our community," said the library's Executive Director Nikki Maounis. "It's an honor to provide a space for sharing these stories and we are proud to be a part of the movement to break the silence on domestic abuse. We hope the audience comes away feeling both empowered to share their own voices and feeling more connected to one another.”
Scott Denman, director of a national environmental philanthropy, is one of the panelists.
“The ‘Breaking the Cycle’ part of the title is very important,” he said. “The thing that children so hate—seeing their moms hurt by the father or significant other—can be used as a catalyst to show them how they can and must break the cycle, watching for the tendencies in their own relationships to replicate what they experienced growing up.”
Another panelist, inventor and retired boat captain Jory Squibb, said, “So much of my own earlier behavior was a puzzle to me and others at the time. Sharing my story now has been central to understanding it at last.”
Sponsors of the Finding Our Voices library event include Gartley & Dorsky, Leslie Curtis Designs, Rickey Celentano, and Stephen and Helene Huyler.
Commissioner of Corrections Randall Liberty was the November guest of McLean’s WERU-FM radio show talking about feeling helpless as a boy when his father, who served jail time for domestic violence, brutalized his mother.
Finding Our Voices is a statewide grassroots nonprofit breaking the silence and cycle of domestic abuse. The group’s bold survivor-powered awareness campaigns include posters featuring McLean’s photo portraits of 45 women survivors that are in 90 Maine towns, as well as programs geared to high school and college students. The group also mitigates the financial abuse and isolation that are key ways women get trapped in domestic abuse with a Get Out Stay Out fund, pro bono dental care, healing retreats, and peer-to-peer online support groups. For more information or to make a donation visit https://findingourvoices.net/
Tue, 11/28/2023 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Camden Public Library
55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843United States