A Word From Our Executive Director
Dear Community Members and Supporters of New Hope for Women,
I'd like to start by expressing my sincere gratitude to the many of you who have supported this important work over the last year. It took a village to get through the first twelve months of the pandemic and we are so grateful for your commitment to our organization.
This past year has been one of great struggle, great divide in our country, and a time of incredible compassion. At the height of the pandemic, one of the greatest needs was long-term emergency sheltering for victims and their families. We were able to provide this by partnering with local hotels and lodging sites throughout our catchment area. A comparison of the first year of the pandemic to the prior year saw a 2,100% increase in emergency sheltering. We were able to support this unprecedented need through state and federal funding, a variety of grants, and through the generosity of supporters like you.
In the coming year, we plan to increase our Transitional Housing Program from six to seventeen units through the addition of two new grants. The expansion of this program will provide support, stabilization and hope to victims and their families in Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, and Waldo Counties. Additionally, we will be unveiling a new gender-inclusive name and logo that we are really excited to share with our community. Stay tuned!
News from Community Prevention and Education
The Community Prevention Education team at New Hope for Women has loved meeting and getting to know so many people through our virtual presentations and trainings over the past year. And are so excited to announce that we have started offering in-person trainings and presentations again!
We would be happy to present to any community group or group of professionals, or attend community events to distribute materials and resources. Presentation options include information on our services and how to contact us, Domestic Abuse Foundations, Teen Dating Violence, how concerned others can assist survivors, and safety planning. We are also able to work with groups to develop personalized trainings on any topic of interest, and are happy to continue to conduct virtual presentations and trainings if your organization prefers.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about domestic violence, please contact Jesse or Lori at 594-2128. We can’t wait to see you in person or virtually!
Mary’s (name changed to protect confidentiality) abuser assaulted her in front of the children and had a history of domestic violence. His early release from jail was a result of efforts to limit the spread of COIVD-19 by easing overcrowding. It was a complete surprise. Mary was concerned about her children as mental health concerns that can be a result of exposure to domestic violence.
Staff worked with Mary to get a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA). We also provided educational books and toiletry items. We sheltered Mary for several months. A local animal shelter cared for her pets. We also provided case management to identify permanent housing and to make it affordable.
Even though there were setbacks, Mary now has a full-time job and was able to get a housing voucher. NHFW assisted with furnishings and funding for a security deposit, and continued to provide career and educational resources through active, supportive and trauma-informed case management. Mary has since made a plan for the children to see their father. She is planning to pursue a career in law enforcement.
It’s the Law:
Governor Mills signed LD 1408, An Act To Increase The Protection Of Children From Domestic Abuse And Violence. This act requires Guardians ad Litem to take core training in domestic abuse and two hours of training annually thereafter so that they may better understanding how domestic abuse affects children. Click here to access a printed copy of LD 1408.
LD 782: An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Department of Corrections for Certified Batterer Intervention Programming, now changes the name of CBIPs to Certified Domestic Violence Intervention Programs and facilitates better information sharing to be sure that victims have timelier access to the information they need about the person who abused them.
LD 947: An Act to Address the Long-Term Impact of Economic Abuse by a Spouse now requires judges to consider the impact of economic abuse when dividing marital assets. MCEDV worked with Representative Laura Supica of Bangor and Pine Tree Legal Assistance to address the economic abuse to which victims may be subject.