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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Domestic Violence Awareness

October has been observed as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month since 1987. Though it is a sobering observation in many ways, focusing on the alarming reality of the continued effects and prevalence of domestic violence in all communities, it is also a chance to support strugglers and survivors and raise awareness of issues and important legislation. We are fortunate in Camden to live in what often seems like an idyllic community, where beauty surrounds us every day. Unfortunately, even in the most wonderful of small towns, domestic violence does occur, and, as we look outward to the world, we are at our best when informed and recognizing how we can support others on a larger scale as well.

The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence reported working with more than 12,000 people in 2020. As a library, our most important response is to inform, share information, and work with our community members. In an effort, therefore, to support those giving voice to the realities of domestic violence on all scales, the Camden Public Library partners yearly with the local organization Finding Our Voices to help spread awareness of the group's work and personal stories. Finding Our Voices was launched by Patrisha McLean in 2019 with an exhibit at the library and has since grown enormously in its advocacy efforts founded on the core of sharing the stories of survivors, many from our local community. This month, you'll be finding their bookmarks in your curbside pickup bags and will likely see their posters across town. In keeping with this intent to spread the word and give voice, our collection in Camden and through interlibrary loan includes many books, from memoirs to novels to self-help and other guidebooks, that address domestic abuse. Use the links below to learn more about some of these titles, request books from the catalog, and explore some online sources. You can also read more about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the impact of the pandemic on domestic abuse, at the website of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

Novels and Resources

Bastard Out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison (fiction)

The Woman Who Walked into Doors, Roddy Doyle (fiction)

The Night Visitors, Carol Goodman (fiction)

Household, Deborah Gould (fiction)

Into the Darkest Corner, Elizabeth Haynes (fiction)

In the Dream House: a memoir, Carmen Maria Machado

Behind Closed Doors, B.A. Paris (fiction)

A Woman is No Man, Etaf Rum (fiction)

Crazy Love: a memoir, Leslie Morgan Steiner

My Love Story, Tina Turner

The Color Purple, Alice Walker (fiction)

Online Resources

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