Women's History Month is currently being celebrated in cities, small towns, and college campuses across the country. Here in Piscataquis County we have exceptionally noteworthy women who have worked unselfishly to make our community, our state, and our world a safer place for everyone who lives, works and visits The Central Highlands. I'm speaking specifically of the founding mothers of Womancare/Aegis Association.
It all began in 1978. A request to organize a “Women's Support Group” was advertised in the Piscataquis Observer and a variety of women attended. The groups' interest and goals were discussed. Knowing that women in abusive relationships were in need of assistance and services, these founding mothers made contact with other domestic violence projects for guidance and began the non-profit incorporation process.
They set up shop in the basement of the Congregational Church in Dover-Foxcroft, in early 1979 and began advertising Womancare services and the sheltering of women. The next few years moved along quickly as the organization began to grow from infancy into a precocious adolescent. During this time, our founding mothers cared for each others children when called out at night to assist a woman being victimized by her partner. They also provided shelter, in their own homes, to women who were fleeing for their safety.
This grassroots dedication and passion to end domestic violence is the important foundation our organization is built upon. Without the unfailing commitment of these women and their willingness to be courageous in the face of opposition, many women and their children may not have escaped their partners' fortress of abuse. Twenty-five years later, Womancare staff members, volunteers and community members continue in our founding mother's footsteps to provide assistance to people effected by domestic violence, as well as educate youth and adults about violence prevention.
As Women's History Month comes to a close I believe it is appropriate to acknowledge these women who used their own resources, time, and courage to help anyone who was a victim of family violence; Susan Bennett, Nina Brawn, Debbie Byron, Cindy Freeman Cyr, Carolyn Hersey, Adrian Mangan, Judy Segerson, Severn Towl, Sandi Miller, Isabelle Warren, and Pat Willey. Thanks to these women and many more, we celebrate you and your dedication to end domestic violence.
Gretchen Ziemer, Community Education Coordinator, Womancare
|Back to News||Home||Print This Story|