Let’s work together to stop abuse

At Hope & Justice Project, we firmly believe that in order to stop abuse and violence, a lot of change needs to take place in our society – 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 and through 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 his or her intimate partner or family members feeling
    trapped and afraid.
  • Counteract myths about abuse.
  • Help people recognize the 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 the mindsets that cause abuse and violence to 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 and 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.

Community-Based Training

Hope & Justice Project trainers provide in-depth workshops that raise awareness about abuse and offer information about safety for victims, accountability for abusers, and community responsibility when it comes to 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 – offering education and support services in Aroostook County’s schools that help children and teens (pre K-12) understand the difference between healthy, joyful relationships and those that are destructive and abusive. We also work to raise awareness about teen dating violence – and we help kids learn how to prevent abusive behavior.

Other trainings 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, 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 us at 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 you knowledge and understanding that’s built on experience as well as compassion.

Many of us have also attended state and national programs where we’ve learned new and promising ways to intervene when abusive situations occur and some 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 the ways in which it impacts our community. This year, due to COVID-19 and with the health and safety of our community members in mind, we will not be holding our annual events in which we gather in large groups. 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.

This year’s theme is “Lights on for Domestic Violence.” We ask that on Sunday, October 11th, businesses, organizations, and community members leave a light on to show support for survivors of domestic violence and honor the lives lost to domestic violence. We encourage you to take photos of your Lights on for Domestic Violence and share them with Hope & Justice Project so that we may share them on our social media pages and recognize you or your business/organization as a support for victims and survivors of domestic violence and the work of Hope & Justice Project.

If you have questions about Lights on for Domestic Violence or want to know how educators are able to 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 it’s 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 successes 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 – and you listen when he/she confides in you.

School-Based Education

Our prevention educators provide presentations for PreK-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 age groups, customized to complement your curriculum, or even adapted to fit a group outside of a school classroom. PreK-12 programs can fit into a single class period or presented as a series over 2 or more classes.

Youth Organizations, Groups & Civil Rights Teams

Our educators are happy to work with Middle School and High School groups and organizations throughout the year. We can provide presentations or help with specific projects. Whatever your team’s needs, we want to be helpful.


Our educators are also advocates who are willing to talk and meet with students regarding their experiences with abuse and violence. 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

For more information or ideas about how your school can recognize teen dating violence, contact the educator in your area.

Contact a Hope & Justice Project Educator and schedule a presentation today:

Central Aroostook Area Schools
Stephen Tibbert
[email protected]

Southern Aroostook Area Schools
Leslie Gervais
[email protected]

St. John Valley Area Schools
Tammy Albert
[email protected]

“The Healthy Relationship presentation was informative and eye opening to students. It was an opportunity for questions and discussion about issues that are often kept secret and believed to be non-existent in the school-aged arena.”
— Houlton High School teacher

Social Media

Stay connected and up-to-date with everything Hope & Justice Project is doing by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month

Roughly 1 in 3 young adults report experiencing abuse or violence in their dating relationships. Those 16 – 24 years old experience the highest rates of abuse out of any other age group. That’s why we work so 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 or event for next February. We can help coordinate a “wear orange” day, set up a lunch-time 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 – and it can affect people in many different ways.

  • Physically
  • Sexually
  • Emotionally
  • Psychologically
  • Economically

Abuse happens because abusers choose to put their own needs first and to 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: constant fear of your partner.