The shushing generally associated with libraries is giving way to encouraging conversation, through Finding Our Voices' domestic abuse-awareness “Let’s Talk About It” bookmarks now being distributed by public libraries and bookstores in the Midcoast and beyond.

The bookmarks are scaled-down versions of the huge, downtown-business window banners that launched in the Midcoast and are now traveling the state. The bookmarks come in sets of 30, each featuring a different Maine Survivor (about a third are local women), plus the 24/7 domestic violence hotline number (1-800-522-3304).

Camden, Rockland, Rockport, Thomaston, and Belfast public libraries, and Barnswallow, Owl and Turtle, and Stone Soup bookstores are among the local places so far distributing the bookmarks, which are in two dozen other towns from Casco and Dover-Foxcroft to Casco.

Patrisha McLean, Camden-based founder and president of the non-profit organization Finding Our Voices, said, “I am thrilled with the welcome reception to our bookmarks because with winter around the corner and the COVID-isolation only making it worse for women and children trapped with angry and controlling family members, the messages of 'You are not alone' and 'There is help out there' are critical.”

The bookmarks are free to any book purveyor in Maine who will distribute them, due to a generous sponsorship by international best-selling author Tess Gerritsen. Asked why she is supporting the bookmark project, Gerritsen said, “Because everyone deserves to feel safe.”

Finding Our Voices marshals Survivor Voices and community creativity to break the silence of domestic abuse. For more information on the bookmarks and Finding Our Voices, visit