AUGUSTA – In situations of life or death, victims of domestic or sexual assault need available resources to break the cycle of violence.
Domestic violence is an issue that is prevalent throughout the entire country, and unfortunately in Maine as well.
To combat that, Senator Erin Herbig (D-Belfast) has pushed forth legislation called an Act to Prevent Sexual and Domestic Violence and to Support Survivors.
“We’ve all come together here in our state capital on this day, to tell you why increased funding for sexual assault and domestic violence services are critical in Maine. It is critical and it needs to happen now,” Sen. Herbig said.
Her bill requests $2.5 million in the 2019-2020 fiscal year and another $2.5 million in the 2020-2021 fiscal year to combat domestic and sexual assault.
Francine Garland Stark, the executive director of Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, the bill mentions how the assaults have an everlasting impact on not just the victim, but everyone around them as well.
“Boys and girls both experience these issues in their households and grow up in a trauma-affected atmosphere that really challenges their ability to succeed as adults,” Stark said.
York County Sheriff Bill King said services that support the victims also benefit the police pursuing the abusers.
“These organizations are vital to the law enforcement effort. By supporting victims, that provides invaluable assistance to do our job and apprehend the perpetrators and hopefully prepare a good prosecution,” said King.
One survivor, Sare Collman, said she knows all too well how important available resources are for victims in need.
“There needs to be more resources and places like I went to. Without the Family Violence Project Somerset House, I don’t know if I’d be here right now. I wouldn’t have custody of two children, I wouldn’t have my own home, I wouldn’t be in college and I wouldn’t have a job,” Collman said.