A dining room table, colorfully set with pictures, flowers, a teddy bear, an empty margarita glass — six place settings with empty chairs, including a baby’s high chair. All are part of a memorial display called “An Empty Place at the Table,” created by New Hope for Women to highlight the effect of domestic violence during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

“An Empty Place at the Table” is touring the state, with several Midcoast installations. Viewings are free and open to the public. The display will be set up Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St.; Thursday, Oct. 23, at Camden Public Library, Atlantic Avenue; and Monday, Oct. 27, at Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

The idea for the display began in 2002, as New Hope for Women’s community educators began to prepare presentations to highlight October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In their effort to remember domestic violence homicide victims, they were inspirited to learn about “An Empty Place at the Table,” which originated in Pennsylvania.

New Hope advocates began to work with families who had lost loved ones to create a display that would honor the victims. Donated items for the table either belonged to the victims or were selected to reflect and celebrate their personalities, passions and dreams. Four of the five settings honor victims from Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties; a highchair honors child victims; and the sixth setting represents all of the unnamed victims.

The empty chairs are a powerful reminder that the tragic deaths of victims including parents, children, neighbors, friends and valued members of the community leave an empty place not only in the lives of their families, but also in the community. As of Sept. 25, 2014, seven out of the year’s 10 homicides in Maine have been the result of domestic violence.

New Hope for Women offers support to people in Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties affected by domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. It also provides important educational resources to assist our communities in creating a safer and healthier future. For more information, call (800) 522-3304 or visit newhopeforwomen.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.