Franklin Countys First News

Franklin County Domestic Violence Task Force

By Nick Citriglia

There are undeniable similarities between sexual violence and domestic violence, and often what the media displays about both creates a large gray area that might confuse some people.

Franklin County locals may ask themselves why we have a sexual assault crisis center and a domestic violence when they deal with “the same things.” While there are things that both sexual and domestic violence have in common, there are many that are different. This article will talk about how both are in need of awareness and support, and how both SAVES and Safe Voices work together to help victims and survivors and raise awareness of both issues.

Eighty-four percent of sexual violence is committed by someone that the victim knows, while domestic violence, by its definition, is an act always committed by someone that the victim knows. Sexual violence can be, and often is, a part of domestic violence, whereas domestic violence is less often a part of sexual violence. Domestic violence is most often a pattern of abuse that can be physical, emotional, mental and sexual, while sexual assault is more often a unique attack using sex as the weapon. (Of course, there is also sexual abuse that is a pattern of abuse committed over and over again.)

One in 3 females and 1 in 6 males will be victims of sexual violence, and 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Victims of domestic violence have certain challenges and needs, and victims of sexual violence may have different challenges and needs.

In Maine, we are fortunate to have two systems of response that serve the unique needs of victims of sexual assault and victims of domestic violence. SAVES’ working relationship with Safe Voices and the Franklin County Domestic Violence Task Force is a cooperative one. Often, people are unaware of the specific services that SAVES provides, such as advocacy in hospitals and throughout any legal matters, education about sexual violence awareness and prevention, and a Sexual Assault Response Team. Safe Voices has many of the same services related to domestic violence specifically, but also focuses on the more immediate safety needs of victims, which can be met through their shelter in Lewiston

At both SAVES and Safe Voices we know how important and beneficial it is to not only support one another, but to promote one another’s services to the Franklin County population. We work in tandem when we can and always make sure to refer clients to the other agency when it is appropriate and beneficial. Both agencies believe the client comes first and foremost.

Nick Citriglia is a coordinator for SAVES.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, please call:

SAVES: 24 hour free and confidential hotline 800-871-7741 www.savesrapecrisis.org
Safe Voices: 24-hour free and confidential helpline 800-559-2927 www.safevoices.org
Your local police department or 911 in cases of emergency
For more information about the Franklin County Domestic Violence Task Force, please contact Lorinda at 778-6297 or lpayton@safevoices.org

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1 Responses »

  1. Great explanation. Thanks Nick.

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