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March 01  Newsletter


Dear Friends,

I hope all of you who ordered the Results book have gotten it by now. And thanks to you who have responded so positively. There would be much less good news to report if you weren't out there working so hard.

I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow so this newsletter is going out before the date on the letterhead. I'm sending it out on Leap Year Day. What a wonderful day. It is special because it comes so infrequently. For all of who wish for more time, here it is. An extra day. Do something special for yourself today.


Welcome new email correspondents:
Hiroko Okumura (Kyota Women's Center, Kyoto, Japan).


NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:

ARIZONA:

Sandy Naatz of Arizona State University updates us on activity there:

You may have heard of a show called "The Vagina Monologues"...Although some people have trouble getting past the name, it is an INCREDIBLE show, which was written as a result of interviews with hundreds of women, about their relationship with their bodies.  Many of the monologues are about violence against women.  The show was written by Eve Ensler.  The show was cast by famous stars (Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Serandon....) and performed a few years ago in New York as a fund raiser to end violence against women.  The show is now being performed by over 140 colleges and universities throughout the country to keep the movement going.  
 
Here in Arizona, at Arizona State University,  we set up both the Silent Witness Display and the Clothesline Project outside the auditorium where the crowd gathered prior to the show and during intermission.  About 700 people saw the show and many commented on how the Silent Witnesses and Clothesline REALLY added to the show by driving home the messages.  And the added bonus is that the students raised over $6000 for local shelters/domestic violence projects!
 
A side note...we are now trying to find some storage to house a Silent Witness Project on Campus so that it will be easy to make it visible here at any time throughout the year.

*Thanks Sandy, for updating us. This show sounds wonderful and I'm so pleased the Silent Witnesses added to the powerful message. Great work. 


CONNECTICUT:

Jan Fuhr writes this about receiving the Results book:

I will be sharing it with the first selecman of New Fairfield, CT.  We met last week at an area-wide DV meeting.  She is very interested in working on the problem.  Having never heard of Silent Witness, this will give her great insight.  We have already discussed having the exhibit in New Fairfield at a town meeting or the like.

*Great news. We need to have more of our public officials involved with Silent Witness. Thanks Jan.

FLORIDA:
Geri Haynes in Sarasota fills us in on what's happening there:

On Feb 4th Judge Nancy Donnellan and I spoke to the Kiwanis Club at their weekly luncheon, with the witnesses present.  The impact was unbelievable. The general assembly voted unanimously to write a resolution of support to the county commission for our county-wide Family Violence Free Zone project (modeled after Cambridge, MA efforts), and expressed interest in helping us fund more witnesses.  They strongly encouraged our submitting a grant request for funds for an upcoming Business Leaders Breakfast.

Yesterday, Feb 21st, two performances of a program from NY, The Vagina Monologues, was performed by area actress at a local theatre.  The shows were sold out, and the witnesses were displayed on the patio outside the theatre.

On Feb 28th, the witnesses will be at the League of Women Voters luncheon, and on Mar 8th, they will be at the Jewish Federation for an Advocacy Forum on DV presented by NCJW.  They will be back to the Federation on the 15th for another luncheon event.  

And finally, on March 28th, the Family Violence Task Force, along with Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and FCCI Insurance Group (and hopefully the Kiwanis Club) will be co-sponsoring a Business Leaders Breakfast entitled Violence in the Workplace.  Presentations will include information on law enforcement info (liabilities, responsibilities, what to do) and information on supervising an (violence) impaired worker.  

We will be awarding the first Small Business that Makes a Big Difference award to a local business that has assisted an employee with DV situation and avoided danger to their business, co-workers and customers.  And finally, we will be providing packets of info to each business from the Violence Prevention Fund to assist them in creating a safe work environment.  The brochure we created last year, Violence in the Workplace, has been translated into Spanish.  The brochure answers common questions regarding workplace issues, and provides a listing of resources from crisis intervention to counseling to corporate training.  Both translations will be available for distribution at the breakfast.

*What a wonderful report. So much happening in Sarasota. Thanks Geri and friends. Good work.

KENTUCKY:
Connie Fox called from Louisville, ecstatic about this news:

The district court, which means the criminal court in Louisville, Kentucky is going to try out a  domestic violence specialty court for six months. This means that all the domestic violence cases will be seen in a coordinated way and it may pave the way for more responsiveness on the part of the court to domestic violence. This is partly due to the hard work of Connie, Diane Graeter and their Court Watch program volunteers who collected great data and put it together in a lucid presentation to the court. What a fine result of such great work.

*Congratulations. YOu are a group of gifted and dedicated women. We love you.
MINNESOTA:
This note came from a survivor who appeared in a video tape that Silent Witness made a few years before the march in Washington. It depicted the Silent Witness exhibit along with three formerly battered women talking about their experiences. One of them, Kathy, wrote us and agreed to let us share her story.

After going to your web site I watched the video that I took part in 1994 entitled "The Silent Witness Story." As you know I was one of the "Survivors" who was interviewed. I would like to thank you and everyone who was involved in the project for helping me heal. There have been times in the years since that video was made that I was struggleing and lonely and debated whether to go back to my perpetrator. At those times when I was feeling weak, I watched the video and got the strength to keep going. The following is the best way I can describe the thoughts and the feelings that went through me last night as I watched the video tape that we made in 1994.

As I watched the other women who took part in the project I wondered where are they now? Are they safe and are they happy? What are their lives like now and what have they gone through since then? When I watched myself, my first thought was, I've come a long way since then, so much has happened good as well as bad. The experience that I talked about at times seems like just a bad dream, but when I watch the video reality hits me like a ton of bricks. It really did happen to me! I lived with it for years! The feeling of fear came back to me.

It's very painful to go back to the time when I lived in such a violent relationship. My eyes filled with tears and I hurt so bad inside. I told myself that I would never let that happen to me again no matter what happened in my life. The fear and the pain, that I went through in that time in my life, not only physical but mental, were excruciating. I wanted to be loved and valued not hurt and degraded. Another memory came to mind as I watched as well. I remember being afraid that if my perpetrator got wind of the project and my involvement I would have hell to pay. Even after
being away from him for about two years and feeling I had recovered I was still afraid. It was almost the same feeling and thoughts that came over me when he was loading his gun. Do I speak and let him know where I am and warn my friends in the back yard that he has a loaded gun? Will he go after them first?  Or do I try to get to my son in the front yard and save him and myself? This was a safer choice this time because of the distance, but still the fear was there.

The point I'm trying to make is that I'm glad I was able to speak out in the video in order to help others and myself rather than being too afraid and only taking care of what was close to me. It has been very hard to go through this again. I hope it helps.  Thanks!

*And thanks to you, Kathy, for sharing this with us. You are truly a survivor.


I would also like to thank Lori Reese, the woman who has taken the Mn. Silent Witnesses to Washington twice and has since taken it upon herself to keep the Minnesota Silent Witness exhibit painted and spruced up on a regular basis for costs only. We are deeply indebted to her. Her passion for this project goes back nine years now. What an angel. Thanks Lori. We love you.
MONTANA:
This note from Tracy Lakatua in Missoula, Montana:
Last night I attended a memorial/program at a church here in town where the Montana Witnesses were featured. The event was called "Love without Fear: Healing the Wounds of Domestic Violence," and was sponsored by the Missoula Ministerial Association; Missoula Family Violence Council; People of Faith, People of Action; Catholic Community Action and Catholic Campus Ministry U-nite. It was the first time in almost a year that I had been among the Silent Witnesses. And was energizing to be in the presence people who want to help families to heal and women to be safe and strong.

*Yes, being with people who care is really energizing. Thanks, Tracy.

RHODE ISLAND:
Nancy Rafi has more news from RI:

I'm in the process of painting 10 more Witnesses for our speak at Bryant College on March 2nd.They've requested to have the Witnesses in the Student Union Hall for the next two weeks, and we are also going to be bringing 20 shirts from the Clothesline project which have been given to me by the Clothesline coordinator here in RI. That will bring our project up to 15 Witnesses, and there are 6 in the Northern RI project, 5 at Salve Regina University, and 20 at the Univeristy of Rhode Island's display.  Rhode Island is really moving forward!

Have I forgotten to mention how much I love this work?  It reminds me of something Anne Frank said:  "How wonderful it is not to have to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Silent Witness is the best!

*We all can start changing the world, right now. YES.

NEWS FROM NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS:

A STRONG INVITATION TO BE PART OF THE WALK ACROSS AMERICA:
Greetings,  My name is Laura Hom.  I am the Hoop Journey Coordinator for the Journey of the Sacred Hoop Walk.  I work for White Bison, Inc. who is organizing the walk.  The Walk will begin in Los Angeles 4/1/00 and be completed in Washington DC on 7/10/oo.  The Walk is a nationwide walk for healing and wellbriety.  Please refer to our website to learn of our company.  www.whitebison.com or call me at 719-548-1000.  We are inviting the Silent Witness Program to join our walk.  We are serious about ending domestic violence.  On our Journey we have a designated coordinator for the Silent Witness.  If there is a way to network on this Walk...please contact us. My email address is laura@whitebison.org
. In one of our brochures we invited Silent Witness folks to join the walk...one goal of the Walk is the elimination of domestic violence wherever it occurs.  Family violence, particularly against women and young people, is not a Native value nor is it a value of any healthy cultural group.
 
The Eagle Feather Hoop has already received prayers from the four colors (races) across North America.  It will carry in its Nationwide journey, the gifts of healing, hope, unity and forgiveness.  We realize the a committment must be made in unity...to stop the violence.  stop the substance abuse. stop the harm and pain in our nation.  The Walk's purpose is to initiate a Wellbriety movement in Indian country as well as in the families of all four "directions"  in our Nation.  It is meant to unify peoples and natons by "wiping away the tears".  

The walk will pass through Los Angeles, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Gallup, Oklahoma City, Tahlequah, Cherokee NC Memphis Tennessee, Nashville, and Washington DC.

Please, Silent Witness coordinators in any of these states or cities get in touch with this  group and coordinate to walk with them part of the way on their tremendous journey. They will be carrying a Silent Witness with them on this walk.


DOROTHY LEMMEY IS STUDYING SCHOOL MURDERS AND NEEDS OUR ASSISTANCE:

Dorothy writes: Here is an introduction and summary of the proposal.  I am asking that anyone located near or in the 3 cities listed can provide me with contacts and information in the future, once data collection starts on this project.  Pearl, Miss    West Paducah, Ky     Jonesboro, AR

Although crime victimization in schools has decreased, the number of multiple-victim homicide school events has increased (Kaufman, et al., 1998). Multiple-victim homicide incidents increased three fold (from 2 to 6) in the academic year 1997-98 compared to 1992-93, and the number of victims increased four fold (from 4 to 16) (Kaufman, et al., 1998).  Half of the incidents were specifically directed at females and two-thirds of the total number of victims (10) were female. In order to understand the experience of violence development in young boys convicted in multiple female victim homicide school shootings in 1997-98, this study will explore the three multiple female victim homicide school shootings: 1) Oct. 1, 1997, Pearl, Miss. - A 16-year-old student shot and killed his ex-girlfriend and another girl at Pearl High School after slitting his mother's throat, seven other students were wounded, 2) Dec. 1, 1997, West Paducah, Ky. A 14-year-old boy shot and killed three girls at Heath High School. Five others were wounded, 3) March 24, 1998, Jonesboro, Ark. Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11, shot and killed a female teacher and four girls at Westside Middle School during a false fire alarm, nine girls and one other teacher were wounded (House Republican Conference, 1999).  

The purpose of this 24-month project is to examine the role of patriarchy (power-control theory) in multiple female victim homicides in school and self reported acts of violence.The project will investigate five indicators of exposure to violence (Abuse, Intimate Partner Violence, Physical Punishment, media and Guns) at three levels of structural change.1) resources (community laws and legitimate violence index), 2) schema (family reflection of abuse, violence, punishment, Media, and Guns), and 3) agency (Individual reflection of abuse, violence, punishment,Media, and Guns).  

A total of 300 adolescent boys (50 from each of the three schools where the homicides occurred and 50 boys from each of the three other comparable schools) including the 4 perpetrators of multiple female victim homicides in school will complete a 45-minute survey.  Questions will be asked that will divide the participants into 2 groups 1) less patriarchal and 2) more patriarchal families of origin which will be used to demonstrate impact of patriarchy on violent behavior.  Descriptive analyses will be computed for all continuous variables and frequencies will be computed for all categorical variables.   Data analysis will use multiple (ordinal dependent) and logistic regression (dichotomous dependent) to test the theoretical model of power and control.  
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Dorothy Lemmey, Ph.D., RN     email dotlemmey@aol.com
536 S. Bay Cove
Painesville, OH 44077-1385


DOVE WINGS ORGANIZATION ONLINE:
I come to you today as a fellow Domestic Violence Advocate along with my wonderful volunteer staff at Silent Tears, Inc. We are a support and referral group which exists to provide aid and assistance to all victims of domestic abuse--women, men and the silent victims--children. We do this Online and Offline through various programs. We are committed to doing everything in our power as volunteers to help those in need.
 
Our Mission is to put an end to the epidemic of domestic violence and abuse. That is raging out of control in our country, by supporting and referring the victims of domestic violence and abuse, using both online and offline resources; Silent Tears is run by lay people with the common interest to provide nurturing, self -- empowerment, education, friendship and referrals to those affected by domestic violence.

 http://msnhomepages.talkcity.com/SupportSt/tangodelata/silenttears.html


Tia M. Davis DoveWingsT@aol.com (or) SilentTearsInc@aol.com

I leave you today with a saying form Zukav called Seat of the Soul;

When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose and meaning. Life is rich and full. We have no thought of bitterness. We have no memory of fear. We are joyously and intimately engaged with our world. This is the evidence of authentic power.

Cheers,

Janet

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