Finding Our Voices


Resources:

If you or someone you know needs help, please know that resources and caring people are available to help you during these uncertain times.

Caring Unlimited 24-hour helpline: 1-800-239-7298 or https://www.caring-unlimited.org/

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-866-834-4357 or https://www.mcedv.org/

Through These Doors 24-hour helpline: 1-800-537-6066 or https://www.mcedv.org/

National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/help/


The Holocaust and Human Right’s Center of Maine (HHRC) and the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV) are thrilled to host renowned photojournalist Patrisha McLean’s extraordinarily brave multi-media exhibit, Finding Our Voices: Breaking the Silence of Domestic Abuse.

Patrisha, a photojournalist based in Camden, started this project after her ex-husband Don McLean of “American Pie” was arrested for domestic violence against Patrisha in 2016. He was convicted on three charges of domestic abuse.

“Freedom” by Maegan Graslie. Maegan, and this painting, are part of the Finding Our Voices: Breaking the Silence of Domestic Abuse exhibit at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center through December 13. Maegan, studying to be an art therapist at the University of Maine, Augusta, says,  “I can finally be myself. I haven’t been myself for 11 years of my life.” 

 “The breaking of the silence was like the breaking of the spell,” Photojournalist Patrisha McLean said, “Women started whispering to me about the domestic abuse in their own lives, happening decades ago or still going on, and I realized I was far from alone. I realized that the shame which is at the root of the silence is both misplaced and dangerous. I had previously used my camera and pen to de-stigmatize people struggling with addiction and homelessness in our community. Now it was my turn: I added audio and turned to something very personal.”

Finding Our Voices: Breaking the Silence of Domestic Abuse features photo portraits and audio recordings of 20 women speaking out about the domestic abuse in their lives, ranging in age from 19-year old Sydney from Camden to 79-year-old Mary Lou from Scarborough, and including an architect, nurse, TV news anchor and corrections officer.  

“What’s so important about this exhibit is that it breaks down not only the silence around domestic violence but also some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that contribute to that silence,” said Shenna Bellows, HHRC Executive Director.  “Domestic violence is a human rights issue that we as a society have a collective responsibility to address. This exhibit is a brave catalyst for an important conversation, and it’s fitting that it take place in the state’s capitol.”

The exhibit is supported by the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence and the Maine Arts Commission and will be on display at the HHRC’s Michael Klahr Center on the University of Maine at Augusta campus, 46 University Drive,  through December 13.

“Patrisha turned her personal tragedy into activism,” said Bellows.  “Through art, she’s creating the space for a statewide human rights conversation.”

Featured in Maine Magazine in July, 2019 as one of Maine’s fifty “leaders creating a brighter future for Maine,” Patrisha has traveled the state since she first launched the exhibit at the Camden Public Library last January to speak to rotary clubs, school groups, libraries and other community events to talk about her experiences and the broader issue of ending domestic violence. She is about to start her second book club for women inmates at the Windham Prison around Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.” 

For more information about the Finding Our Voices project or the HHRC Augusta exhibit, visit www.FindingOurVoices.net

If you or anyone you know has experienced or is experiencing domestic abuse, call the statewide domestic abuse helpline at 1 866 834 HELP. 

{{Privy:Embed campaign=1372091}}

The Latest from HHRC

May 30 to June 1 of 1921: A Black community was booming until it was burned to the ground

By HHRC | May 29, 2020

On May 30, 1921, rumors about an encounter between a black teenage boy and a white teenage girl began to circulate throughout the city of Tulsa. The boy was arrested and an investigation ensued. After an incendiary report in the Tulsa Tribune, African Americans who had confronted a white mob retreated to the Greenwood District, a wealthy and affluent black business community in Tulsa.

Eli Wiesel on Protest

By Marpheen Chann | May 27, 2020

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel

May 21 is World Cultural Diversity Day. Here are some resources for Teachers and Students.

By HHRC | May 21, 2020

If you’re looking for resources or assignments to give students to help learn more about World Cultural Diversity Day and how cultures help shape who we are, you’ve come to the right place!

Nelson Mandela on Human Rights

By HHRC | May 18, 2020

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” – Nelson Mandela

Watch: HHRC interviews Phuc Tran, author of new memoir ‘Sigh, Gone’

By Marpheen Chann | May 15, 2020

In the month of April, we observed Genocide Awareness Month. The month of May happens to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and it just so happens that Phuc Tran, a Vietnamese-American Mainer just published his memoir, Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In