Domestic Violence

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Real Advocacy for Domestic Violence Victims

For many years I lived with domestic violence (DV). I know firsthand that the insidious nature of DV persists for many victims long after they have escaped. Running for public office invites criticism from the public for every candidate but for a person that has escaped DV there comes an outrageous level of vulnerability.

Women are often unable to maintain childcare and employment while living with DV, as well as after, because their abuser often finds ways to cause loss the victim’s ability to adhere to social expectations. Victims are often forced to seek charity (homeless shelters, favors from family or friends, etc.) and social assistance (SNAP/EBT, WIC, TANF, MediCare/MaineCare, etc.) when they escape and must then deal with the resulting economic and social fallout. The psychological trauma often causes long-term depression, anxiety, and fears in victims and their children. In many cases, a woman’s ability to articulate her abuse(s) and trauma(s) actually facilitates questions about whether she is a “real” victim and this is used against her even as she seeks help.

I have fed my children – first – using SNAP/EBT and WIC; walked with my children when my car was taken from me; lost all of my possessions and lived in a trailer; and borrowed or simply gone without despite knowing that I (and all victims) deserve better. Today, I still deal with continued abuses in the form of public slander and private attacks because I dared to escape… and wish to thrive.

Yet, I persist and I want you to know that you can and will too. Regardless of… or rather, because of my experiences I am standing up for us all. Victims of abuse whether it be from a parent, spouse, or any other deserve to have a true advocate representing them in Augusta. Persons who must use public assistance should not face compounded and prolonged hardships from State agencies or their communities. Victims should not be forced to maintain contact with their abusers because they have children. Our law enforcement and social service agencies must be organized for efficacy not efficiency. We will have a representative with first-hand knowledge of the insidious nature domestic violence and someone fully equipped to continue working toward #solutions, if I am elected.

If you or someone you know is living with domestic violence, please do seek help. I am here for you regardless of your gender identity or situation, always. Please reach out if you need some guidance or just someone real to talk to. Please also make use our existing (albeit still imperfect) DV resources:

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
Statewide Domestic Abuse Helpline: 1-866-834-HELP
Deaf or Hard of Hearing: 1-800-437-1220

Hope and Justice Project
24-hour Helpline: 1-800-439-2323
5 Erskine Street, Presque Isle, Maine, 04769

Lillie Lavado
207-227-7388