Wearing yellow for the light that Finding Our Voices and Camden National Bank are bringing to domestic abuse in Maine are Greg Dufour, president and CEO of Camden National Bank, Patrisha McLean, founder/president of Finding Our Voices, and Renee Smyth, the bank’s executive vice president. (Courtesy of Finding Our Voices)

Finding Our Voices has received an $8,000 grant from Camden National Bank for its Youth Healthy-Relationship campaign, bringing the bank’s total funding of the grassroots, survivor-powered nonprofit in the three years of its existence to $38,000. 

This grant will expand the group’s groundbreaking work educating young people across Maine on what is healthy and what is not healthy in intimate partner and family relationships. The new year will see K-12 art and poetry Love/not Love workshops/exhibits in various public libraries across the state, and posters launching in high schools, colleges and universities that feature alarming first-hand experiences of dating abuse by Maine girls and boys aged 13 to 21.  

“Camden National Bank got us off the ground three years ago with our very first corporate donation,” said Patrisha McLean, founder/president of Finding Our Voices. “And every step of the way since then they have been solidly by our side, helping us keep up with the momentum of our movement and getting and keeping more and more Maine women and children safe including with the outreach of our posters in the windows and employee break rooms of all their branches.  

“We are particularly excited,” continued McLean, “about the Bank’s lead of our youth initiative. Habits form early, social media is making it even scarier for teens involved with a controlling partner, and it is a lot easier to recognize and avoid dangerous relationships when young than try to extricate once you are trapped and may have children together.”  

Renee Smyth, the bank’s executive vice president, said, “We are proud to be the lead sponsor for Finding Our Voices’ expansion of their youth education campaign. We strongly believe in FOV’s grassroots efforts to break the silence, stigma and intergenerational cycle of domestic abuse. The Bank has a long history of providing financial support to organizations such as this in the communities in which we live and markets we serve, and appreciate the exceptional work they do.”

The trademark outreach of Finding Our Voices is bold posters and bookmarks featuring the photos and stories of 45 Maine domestic abuse survivors aged 18 to 81, including students, an incarcerated woman, and Gov. Janet T. Mills. The group also provides sister support that includes Get Out Stay Out funding of short-term motel stays, legal consultations, and car repairs, through referrals from police departments, district attorney’s offices, homeless shelters, social service agencies, and human resources departments.  For more information visit FindingOurVoices.net or contact McLean directly at hello@findingourvoices.net.