Waterville Police Chief William Bonney with Finding Our Voices bookmarks featuring photo portraits and testimonials of 45 Maine survivors of domestic abuse. Chief Bonney and District Attorney Maeghan Maloney will join local survivors talking about how domestic violence impacts children at the Maine Film Center in Waterville, Sunday Feb. 12 starting at 2:30 p.m. (Courtesy of Patrisha McLean)

WATERVILLE — The public is invited to a Finding Our Voices program on how domestic violence impacts children in which local survivors will share how they and their family members were terrorized in what should be the safe place of home. This free event will take place in Waterville at the Maine Film Center at 93 Main Street on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m.  

The program begins with short films on hairdresser Courtney and small business owner Christine of Maine talking about growing up in fear and chaos with their mothers’ violent boyfriends, vowing to avoid this in their dating life, then finding themselves trapped in it by their own intimate partners. The award-winning UK film “Timekeeper” which is having its North American premiere with this showing focuses on a young boy’s experience of coercive control, AKA emotional abuse, and was created to help teachers recognize when children are going through domestic abuse, and also how to best help them. Courtney and Christine as well as survivors living in Waterville will discuss the abuse they and their children endured, or are still enduring, and how to break the cycle. District Attorney Maeghan Maloney and Police Chief William Bonney will join the community conversation.

“Two days before Valentine’s Day is perfect timing,” said Patrisha McLean, founder/president of Finding Our Voices, “for shining a light on the mixed messages in some families over what love is, and what it is not. Talking about it, parents to children, children to parents, neighbor to neighbor, is the first step to healing, and to healthy relationships with family members and intimate partners.”

This free event, sponsored by the Oak Institute of Human Rights at Colby College, has first come first served seating. For more information email Patrisha at hello@findingourvoices.net or visit watervillecreates.org. Finding Our Voices is survivors boldly and creatively breaking the silence, stigma, and inter-generational cycle of domestic abuse all across Maine. In addition to survivor-powered outreach, the grassroots nonprofit provides peer-support that includes financial assistance.

For more information visit  https://findingourvoices.net/ or https://oakinstitute.colby.edu/.