With a population of 1.3 million people, $1,000 per resident per year is not an insignificant sum for a small, relatively poor state. The Bingham Program advisors decided it was time to affect a change in the cultural acceptance of violence against women and children. Social change, however, was not something we were going to be able to bring about on our own so we began to look for partners.
Over the years the issue of violence against women and children had been mislabeled a “women’s issue” and relegated to the less important issues with which the state needed to deal. For the Bingham advisors, however, this was an economic as well as a health issue that needed the voices of business and men added to the discussion of solutions.
In the fall of 2006, we asked former Governor Angus King and Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors to convene a group of business leaders who were men. The leaders were chosen because they had adopted policies within their own companies and because they were known to domestic violence and sexual assault advocates as supportive. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce them to the research of Vincent Felitti, MD at Kaiser Permanente and Robert Anda, MD of the CDC which dealt with the long term effects on health and productivity of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Because of the need to get the attention of business and industry focused on these productivity losses, we also began discussions with the Maine Development Foundation about the possibility of developing a measure of growth for the Maine Economic Growth Council’s yearly report. At its meeting in January 2008, the Council set a goal of developing a safety indicator or cluster of indicators for its next report.
In the fall of 2007, at the 75th Anniversary celebration of The Bingham Program, the advisors committed to spending up to $1 million to focus the state’s attention on the devastating personal and economic effects of violence against women and children and on what we all can do to foster primary prevention efforts in our personal and professional lives. We are also working to match that amount and to find partners interested in this work.
Because one of the strongest indicators for continuation of the cycle of abuse is exposure to it at an early age, we envision our work taking place in the wider context of providing safe and supportive early childhood experiences. Early quality care and education are vitally necessary for Maine to insure that our most precious resource is well developed.
There are currently a number of initiatives – statewide and local — focusing on the need for and development of healthy birth-to-three environments. We support these efforts because of the research indicating the critical importance of this period for infants’ and toddlers’ healthy development and the economy. We are a member of the Maine Children’s Growth Council because we believe that our economic future depends on our investment in the birth to three years of children’s lives.
|Initiative spending||Total||FY 06- 08||FY 09||FY10||FY ’11||FY’12||FY’13||FY’14||FY’15||FY’16||FY’17||F’18|
|A Call to Men||10,850||10,850|
|Boys to Men||20,364||20,364|
|Me. Coalition to End DV||10,000||5,000||5,000|
|Maine Council of Churches||6,700||1,700||5,000|
|Me Coalition Against Sexual Assault||89,838||5,000||42,419||42,419|
|United Somali Women||86,578||43,289||43,289|
|Total Men & Boys||224,330|
|Maine Chamber of Commerce||5,000||5,000|
|Maine Development Foundation||116,200||36,000||30,000||43,000||5,000||2,200|
|Council for a Strong America||30,000||15,000||15,000|
|Maine Children’s Alliance||149,000||34,500||34,500||5,000||5,000||5,000||5,000||30,000||30,000|
|Maine Children’s Growth Council||5,000||5,000|
|Maine Children’s Trust||65,000||35,000||30,000|
|Maine Head Start Directors||5,000||5,000|
|Maine Humanities Council||59,288||22,250||24,909||12,129|
|Maine Osteopathic Association||2,000||2,000|
|Maine Women’s Policy Center||42,370||42,370|
|Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center||2,000||2,000|
|United Way/Mid Coast Hospital||1,500||1,500|
|York County Child Abuse & Neglect||1,000||1,000|
|Early Childhood Funders’ Group||36,500||7,500||7,500||7,500||4,000||5,000||5,000|
|Total Early Childhood||477,821|
|Add Verb Productions||116,900||16,900||20,000||30,000||25,000||25,000|
|Amer. Academy of Peds||8,738||3,738||2,000||2,000||1,000|
|Family Crisis Services||31,753||31,753|
|Hardy Girls Healthy Women||43,625||24,640||18,985|
|Maine Assn. of Psych. Physicians||1,000||1,000|
|Me.Primary Care Assn/PSR||133,161||89,811||15,929||27,421|
|Maine Resiliency Building Network||272,146||51,417||58,417||47,417||53,335||30,780||30,780|
|Wabanaki Mental Health||75,000||25,000||25,000||25,000|
|Waldo County General Hospital||45,000||25,000||20,000|
|Maine Citizens Against Handguns||3,000||3,000|
|Maine Family Violence Project||6,500||5,000||1,500|
|New Hope for Women||1,000||1,000|
|Prevention. Action. Change.||800||800|
|USM Muskie Center||133,578||32,378||29,843||31,364||26,662||13,331|
|Dr. Felitti’s visits||7,500||7,500|
|All Initiative grants to date||1,750,119||302,286||147,828||201,600||283,171||58,801||106,333||165,868||203,537||129,135||85,780||65,780|