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'I Was One Of the Lucky Ones': Gov. Mills Shares Her Own Story At Unveiling Of New Domestic Abuse Report

Robert Bukaty
Associated Press
Gov. Janet Mills

Gov. Janet Mills got personal during a Wednesday press conference about a new report from the state's Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel.

She described a young woman who was in an abusive relationship with a man that was an alcoholic and one night held a gun to her head. Mills says the woman packed her bags and left.

“That woman went to law school, she became a prosecutor, later Attorney General and now is the Governor of the State of Maine. I will never forget that night, and I will always know I was one of the lucky ones," Mills said during the event at the State House.

The new report from the state panel identified 18 homicides in Maine over a two-year period that were acts of domestic violence. That was nearly 43% of all homicides in the state between 2018 and 2019.

Mills says while many programs have been developed to help victims of domestic violence, the problem persists and requires more attention.

Francine Stark, Executive Director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic violence, says all Mainers can help end the violence by telling anyone they know who is in an abusive relationship to get help.

“One of the most helpful things anybody in the community can do is encourage that person to reach out and be in touch with us because the domestic violence resource centers do not have any agenda for you as a human being. We are going to listen to where you are and help problem solve," Stark says.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.