October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month 



ELLSWORTH – With the help of the Chambers of Commerce in Ellsworth and Machias, NextStep Domestic Violence Project has developed a series of ways that businesses, organizations and individuals in Hancock and Washington counties can “Shine a Light” to show support for domestic violence survivors during October.  

Businesses and organizations may pick up a free NextStep DVAM purple tote bag at Chambers of Commerce in Ellsworth and Machias beginning Oct. 1. Among the contents are posters, window signs, purple lights to hang and purple lapel ribbons. Participants may also contact NextStep if they prefer to have a tote bag delivered or if they need additional purple lights for their window display. 

Participate in the “Shine a Light” Walk in Machias on Friday, Oct. 16, beginning at 5 p.m. The walk begins at the Chamber of Commerce office and ends at the Bad Little Falls gazebo. Social distancing guidelines will be followed during the walk. 

At 4:45 p.m. that Friday, all citizens of Hancock and Washington counties are encouraged to turn on every light in their location to shine a light in support of survivors of domestic violence. 

“We chose Friday, Oct. 16 for our “Shine a Light” day because it is the day before the new moon of October,” stated Susan Jonason, community engagement associate. “Domestic violence can’t exist in the light and so turning on all lights at 4:45 p.m. is a symbolic way of showing that we want domestic violence to end, now. We want all survivors to see that they are not alone, that our communities care. Whether lights are left on for 15 minutes, or left on to shine all night, we hope everyone will participate and share this message.” 

For more information, contact NextStep at [email protected]or (207667-0176. 

Next Step Domestic Violence Project offers services to all residents of Hancock and Washington counties, whether they are impacted by domestic abuse directly or are concerned about a friend, neighbor, coworker or family member. Reach out to the 24/7 helpline at (800315-5579. 

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