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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)

When Dad Hurts Mom: helping your children heal the wounds of witnessing abuse, Lundy Bancroft

Why Does He Do That?: inside the minds of angry and controlling men, Lundy Bancroft

Helping Her Get Free: a guide for families and friends of abused women, Susan Brewster

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

It's My Life Now: starting over after an abusive relationship, Meg Kennedy Dugan

Implosion: a memoir of an architect's daughter, Elizabeth W. Garber

The Night Visitors, Carol Goodman (fiction)

Household, Deborah Gould (fiction)

Into the Darkest Corner, Elizabeth Haynes (fiction)

Trauma and Recovery: the aftermath of violence, from domestic abuse to political terrorism, Judith Lewis Herman

See What You Made Me Do: the dangers of domestic abuse that we ignore, explain away, or refuse to see, Jess Hill

When I Hit You: or, a portrait of the writer as a young wife, Meera Kandasamy

If I Am Missing or Dead: a sister's story of love, murder, and liberation, Janine Latus

In the Dream House: a memoir, Carmen Maria Machado

Getting Free: you can end abuse and take back your life, Ginny NiCarthy

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

Dragonslippers: this is what an abusive relationship looks like, Rosalind B. Penfold

A Woman is No Man, Etaf Rum (fiction)

Assume Nothing: a story of intimate violence, Tanya Selvaratnam

No Visible Bruises: what we don't know about domestic violence can kill us, Rachel Louise Snyder

Crazy Love: a memoir, Leslie Morgan Steiner

Goodbye, Sweet Girl: a story of domestic violence and survival, Kelly Sundberg

Memorial Drive: a daughter's memoir, Natasha Trethewey

My Love Story, Tina Turner

The Color Purple, Alice Walker (fiction)

Family and Friends' Guide to Domestic Violence: how to listen, talk, and take action when someone you care about is being abused, Elaine Weiss

Surviving Domestic Violence: voices of women who broke free, Elaine Weiss

"Not to People Like Us": hidden abuse in upscale marriages, Susan Weitzman

I Closed My Eyes: revelations of a battered woman, Michele Weldon

Surviving Domestic Violence: a guide to healing your soul and building your future, Danielle F. Wozniak & Karen Allen

Survival From Domestic Violence: stories of hope and healing (film)

Online Resources

Finding Our Voices

The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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