Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance has been working to change attitudes, save lives, and end abuse for more than 35 years.
Our goal? To help create communities where domestic abuse and dating abuse are things of the past. Where people and families can thrive in healthy relationships and live without isolation and fear.
We know that it takes whole communities working together to accomplish these goals. That’s why, throughout the year and throughout our communities, we participate in activities designed to raise awareness about domestic and dating abuse. Some are part of national or statewide campaigns, some are organized by Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance, and some grow out of ideas suggested by creative, caring community members who want to make a difference
Some national and state initiatives are:
Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)
Each October, communities across the nation join together to recognize the existence of Domestic Violence and to honor those who have been affected by violence with vigils, walks, and other awareness-raising activities. DVAM was first recognized in October of 1987—the same year the first national toll-free domestic violence hotline became available. For more information about the history of DVAM, please visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website.
National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
In February, this awareness campaign spotlights youth-inspired and coordinated activities designed to promote healthy relationships and awareness about teen dating violence.
Knowledge Empowers Campaign
We know the right words are sometimes hard to find.
With that thought in mind, Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance began our Library Campaign in 2003. That year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month we donated books and materials about abuse to every library in Penobscot County. A year later, the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence picked up the initiative and it became a statewide effort.
Today, Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance’s Knowledge Empowers Campaign is thriving. Our goal is to make information, outreach materials, and resources accessible to every child, teen, and adult in Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties. Recognizing the pervasive nature of the problem and the widespread need for information, we donate books that appeal to many different audiences—including children, teens, and adults—and that cover many different topics.
Throughout October, participating public, private, and school libraries display the selected books and materials. Look for 2016 books to be posted in October, or check your local library’s catalog for previous years’ selections.
Other Community Activities
- The Clothesline Project
The Clothesline Project began in 1990 on Cape Cod as an effort to bear witness to the epidemic of violence against women and to help survivors and those who care about them heal. The first clothesline carried 31 shirts in different colors, each color-coded and decorated to represent a particular woman’s experience. Since its inception, the Clothesline Project has grown into an international effort, with more than 500 projects throughout the world.
- Take Back the Night
Co-hosted by the University of Maine’s Student Women’s Organization and the Safe Campus Project, this annual event brings together members of the campus community and beyond to rally against sexual violence and domestic abuse.