Just Listen: The Peaceful Fight Against Domestic Violence

Originally published Nov. 7, 2014

It’s the topic none of us really want to talk about.

Domestic violence may be an incredibly personal issue, but by not talking about it, we aren’t helping to end it. That’s why Katie Hathaway and Shaunna Peard, both University of Maine business students, worked together to take charge and lead the effort in stopping the issue, once and for all.

Together with the Maine Business School Corps, they organized UMaine’s first March Against Domestic violence, which drew a crowd of nearly 200 students and faculty. Led by Dr. Robert Dana and Bananas the Bear, the march swept across the University Mall before ending at the steps of Fogler Library.

At the event, UMaine president Susan Hunter addressed the crowd. “Domestic violence and sexual assault are serious and continuing problems on campuses and in our community,” she said. She discussed efforts by the Obama Administration to combat domestic violence, quoting President Obama in saying, “You are not alone. We have your back. I have your back.”

“No one in this community is alone,” she said of the university community and the Bangor/Orono/Old Town area. “We are very committed to providing a safe community, so together — and I mean it, it takes all of us together to do this — we can make a difference in stopping domestic violence and sexual assault.”

I was in attendance at the event, and spoke with not only its coordinators but also students, and faculty and community members with expertise in women’s issues. All said that solidarity was important; all said that now is the time to move past acknowledging there’s a problem; and all said that now is the time to take action against domestic violence.

And the way to start? Just listen.

Music: “Blue,” Rob Simonsen

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