Let’s Work Together to Stop Abuse
At Hope & Justice Project, we firmly believe that a lot of change needs to occur in our society to stop abuse and violence. This includes what we know about domestic abuse, what we tolerate, who we believe abuse affects, and how each of us can help. So, through awareness events both outside and within Domestic Violence Awareness Month, community-based training for adults, and school-based education programs for youth, we work to:
- Promote healthy relationships. Everyone deserves to experience a happy, joyful relationship.
- Understand abuse. What is abuse? – an intentional pattern of coercive, controlling, and often violent behavior that keeps the abuser in a powerful position and their intimate partner or family member feeling trapped and afraid.
- Counteract myths about abuse.
- Help people recognize warning signs and symptoms of domestic violence or teen dating violence – the first step toward ending it.
- Provide support for individuals and professionals so they can:
- Help victims plan for safety.
- Hold abusers accountable.
- Repair the harm abusers cause.
- Change mindsets that cause abuse and violence and allow both to go on.
We believe that until we, as a community, as a society, have a common understanding of abuse, until we have the same answer to the question, “What is Abuse?” we can’t respond in a unified voice to say, “Enough. No more.”
We believe everyone has the right to respect, safety, and happiness.
We believe it will take all of us to put an end to domestic abuse and violence.
Follow Hope & Justice Project on our various social media pages to help us promote these ideals.
Hope & Justice Project trainers provide in-depth workshops that raise awareness about abuse. They offer information about safety for victims, accountability for abusers, and community responsibility for creating a violence-free society. All workshops are interactive and can be customized for specific needs and audiences.
Specifically, We Provide…
- Guest lectures at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Northern Maine Community College, and the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
- Education and support services for students and consultation and training for staff at Loring Job Corps, where we’re on-site at least one day a week.
- Youth Advocacy and Young Adult Services offer education and support services in Aroostook County’s schools to help children and teens (pre-K-12) understand the difference between healthy, joyful relationships and destructive, abusive ones.
- We also work to raise awareness about teen dating violence and help kids learn how to prevent abusive behavior.
Other Training We Provide:
- Domestic Violence 101 for community groups and professionals.
- Domestic Violence in the Workplace – Training, and consultation for employers and employees.
- ODARA Training – Training for law enforcement officers, judges, bail commissioners, and other legal professionals on the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment tool.
If you’d like to schedule a presentation or training for your organization or community group, please call the Hope & Justice Project office nearest you.
Experience & Compassion
Hope & Justice trainers have spent many hours listening and talking to people struggling with an abusive partner or family member. That means that, though no one has all the answers, we can offer knowledge and understanding built on experience and compassion.
Many of us have also attended state and national programs to learn new, promising ways to intervene when abusive situations occur and proven methods to prevent them. Call 1-800-438-2323 today. We’re here to help.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Usually, this time of year, you will see advocates at events throughout Aroostook County, bringing awareness, providing education, and connecting with community members and organizations about domestic violence and how it impacts our community.
This year, due to COVID-19, we will not hold events where we gather in large groups with our community members’ health and safety in mind. COVID-19 has caused us to re-imagine how we spread awareness, honor survivors, and remember those who have lost their lives to domestic violence.
If you have questions about Domestic Violence Awareness Month or want to know how educators can connect with your business, organization, or classroom, please contact Hope and Justice Project by calling 207-764-2977.
When is a Relationship Healthy?
A relationship is healthy and most joyful when built on a foundation of:
- Mutual Respect. Your partner values you for who you are and doesn’t try to change you.
- Trust. You can both talk to or do things with other people and not feel anxious or jealous or wonder what’s really going on.
- Honesty. No lying. Period.
- Support. You’re happy about each other’s success and willing to “be there” when things aren’t going well.
- Freedom. You pursue your own hobbies and interests and spend time with your friends and family.
- Open Communication. You never keep your feelings to yourself because you wonder how your partner will react. You listen when they confide in you.
Our prevention educators provide presentations for Pre-K-12 on topics ranging from feelings and self-worth to communication and healthy relationships. All Hope & Justice Project School-Based programs include hands-on activities, interaction, and lively conversation. Most can be adapted for different ages, your curriculum, or groups outside of school classrooms. Pre-K-12 programs can fit into a single class period or be presented as a series over multiple classes.
Youth Organizations, Groups, & Civil Rights Teams
Our educators are happy to work with Middle and High School groups throughout the year. We can provide presentations or help with specific projects. Whatever your team needs, we want to be helpful.
Our educators are also advocates willing to talk and meet with students regarding abuse and violence experiences. Like most of our services, our Young Adult Services can be tailored to the individual’s needs and wishes.
February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Central Aroostook Area Schools
Southern Aroostook Area Schools
St. John Valley Schools
“The Healthy Relationships presentation was informative and eye-opening to the students. It was an opportunity for questions and discussion about issues often kept secret and believed to be non-existent in the school-aged arena.”
— Houlton High School Teacher
Roughly 1 in 3 young adults report experiencing abuse or violence in their dating relationships. Those ages 16 – 24 experience the highest rates of abuse out of any other age group. That’s why we work hard to educate young people about our young adult services in February for Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month.
Schedule a Presentation or Event
If you are an educator or group leader of young people, consider scheduling a Hope & Justice Project presentation next February. We can help coordinate a “wear orange” day, set up a lunchtime tabling event, or facilitate a classroom-based presentation. We are willing to be flexible to ensure that the content and format works for you and your group.
What Is Abuse?
Abuse is About Power
Abuse is not an isolated, explosive event or two. Abuse is a constant quest for power and control over another person, usually an intimate partner. It’s a pattern of coercive behavior that can affect people in many ways.
Abuse happens because abusers choose to put their own needs first and do whatever it takes to control their partners. No matter how much it damages that person, their relationship, or their family. Abuse doesn’t happen because a victim is too weak to resist or leave the relationship. A clear warning sign is a constant fear of your partner.