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April 01  Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Now is the time to be strategic about moving forward in healing domestic
 violence in your communities. You can use the Results book to educate, to
 persuade and to motivate groups to get Results projects started.
 GIve copies
 of the book to key leaders, government officials, task force leaders,
 organization presidents. Choose the project that your organization is most
 drawn to and start a small group to get it moving. And please let me know
 what happens. I can feel the excitement building already as word of new
 ventures keep coming in.

 In the last section of this week's newsletter I have posted the
 new domestic  homicide data for each state for 1998. These data depict domestic
 homicides of  women 18 and older by intimate partners as collected by the FBI in its
 Supplemental Homicide Report. They claim 92% accuracy.

 The general trends are these: Twenty-six states decreased their domestic
 murder rates, twenty-two states increased their domestic murder rates,
 twelve states had 2.50 or fewer domestic homicides per million (same as
 1997) and twenty-one states were in the middle rate per million (same as

 The states with the largest decreases in domestic homicides per
 million were  Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and South Dakota. The
 states with the largest increases were Arkansas, Maine, Mississippi,
 Nebraska, South Carolina, and Vermont.

 The countdown to 2010 has begun. The programs we start the first few years
 of this Millennium will have the best chance to really make a
 difference. It
 sometimes takes awhile for a program to show success. Thanks to all of you
 who are committed to Silent Witness and to really making a difference. As
 I've said before, you are angels.

 Welcome new email correspondents:
 Anamah Tan (Singapore Council of Women's Organizations), Hedwig Anuar
 (AWARE, the Association of Women for Action and Research,
 Singapore), Sharon
 Loris (State Board of Control, Sacramento), Donna White (Tigard, Oregon)


 Marsha McKinzie, our AAUW Silent Witness coordinator in Alaska writes:

 Just to let you know - Alaska's Silent Witnesses are traveling to
 Sitka for
 display during the month of April.  The Sitka-Mt. Edgecumbe Branch of the
 American Association of University Women is sponsoring the display and
 working with the local women's shelter to help increase public
 awareness of
 domestic violence in this small community.  This means that
 Alaska's project
 will have been displayed in six different communities and have traveled
 several thousand miles, not counting their first trip to Washington, D.C.

 Catherine Benson from Cal State Long Beach writes:

 Again, it has been a long time since I have written to you!!  But I have
 been reading about all the
 wonderful developments in the program. Hurray!!

 I want to add that, I plan on writing down my experience with
 the Silent Witnesses on campus....it was incredible.  I left an abusive
 husband and I really did a lot of healing through this project. A
 LOT. Thank
 you for that.  Thank all of you for making this happen. This is beauty at
 its best.

 *Catherine, letters like this keep all of us going for a very long time.
 Please write about your experiences with Silent Witness. It would be very
 healing for you and for many others.

 And we heard from Sharon Loris who is the public information
 officer for the
 State Board of Control in Sacramento. The Victims of Crime
 Program is using
 30 of the California Silent Witnesses from April 9-14 to display
 the Board of Control building. Also four of the Witnesses are going to be
 displayed in the Consumer Services Agency. She said they might
 make a large
 poster like the one in our book, the Silent Witness Story so the impact of
 the Witnesses will be even greater.

 *Thanks Sharon for informing us of this great opportunity for the Silent
 Witnesses to raise more awareness in Sacramento.  Other states might want
 to duplicate the poster in our first book which we called the "red book."
 It has an all black background and white lettering. Kinkos could do a good
 job of enlarging it and duplicating it.


 Connie Fox, our NCJW Court Watch mentor in Louisville, writes
 that the NCJW
 committee chairs (Connie and Diane Graeter) have now assisted
 more than 100
 communities across the United States by sending out training materials and
 conducting court monitoring workshops.

 They also donate several dozen teddy bears each year to the
 Jefferson County
 Police Department Domestic Violence Unit. The NCJW Court Watch Committee
 knitted sweaters and hats and made necklaces with loving messages for each
 of these bears. The bears will be distributed to small children
 involved in
 domestic violence calls.

 This is all in addition to the wonderful news we reported last month that
 they are now going to have a trial period for a separate criminal domestic
 violence court in their county.

 *Connie and Diane, this is great news. We're so proud of all the hard work
 you do on behalf of your court watch project and Silent Witness
 as well. Way
 to make a difference!!


 Large thanks go to Lorraine Hart of the Minnesota Women's
 Consortium, Silent
 Witness' mother organization for several years. Lorraine has done our
 bookkeeping for several years in her spare time for a pittance. She is a
 wonderful person and a great supporter. We applaud her work and thank her
 whole heartedly. Kudos to Lorraine.

 Carol Lee, one of the sisters of a Minnesota Silent Witness has helped a
 resident council of the St. Paul YWCA create a set of their own Silent
 Witnesses. The Resident Council is made up of current and past
 of the Transsional Housing Progamm of the Y. The Council took on
 the job of
 tracking the stories, making the figures and then taking them to special
 events. Their Witnesses will appear along with the original
 Silent Witnesses
 at the Mall of America in early April and at the Institute on Domestic
 Violence in the African-American Community's Forum at the University of
 Minnesota in June.

 One of the Witnesses Carol Lee was helping to make struck very close to
 home. She found out that the young woman whose throat was slashed and her
 body thrown from a balcony was the sister-in-law of a man who she
 works with
 every day at the Radisson Hotel.

 *Carol Lee, this is such a great effort that you and the resident council
 are doing. We are so grateful. And these women's lives will never be


 Jerri Miller writes us from Montana:

 Hi there, my friend.  Just read the latest issue of the newsletter--good
 things happening!  I, too, loved the results book, and am happy
 to tell you
 some of the great things we have going on in Montana.

 We had a Board of Directors meeting of our 501c3 a week ago and elected 3
 new Board members.  All wonderfully committed women who really love the
 Silent Witness movement.  We are glad to have Eleanor Challen, Caryl
 Wickes-Connick and Anna Marie Barber on board.

 One of the certified counselors who attended our Stosny and Court Watch
 seminars last October has decided to take Stosny's comprehensive training
 this spring and will do so in May in Tulsa.  We are going to do some
 extensive fund-raising to help him with his expenses as he has
 agreed to use
 this model in Montana once his training is complete.

 We are planning another Board meeting in May, and will hopefully
 be meeting
 with the state Attorney General (who is running for governor this
 year).  We
 are hoping he will continue his support for SW into the
 Governor's mansion,
 but in the meantime, we are going to be asking him for support in
 setting up
 some new reporting measurement guides as we have such difficulty getting
 information out of the County Attorney and Coronor offices.   Our
 legislature will be in session this next January, and we are
 already working
 on having the Witnesses on display for the entire month of February.  And,
 we are STILL looking for a good trailer to both house and transport our

 *Jerri this is more testimony to your strong persistance. It always pays
 off. We are grateful to you and we wish you the best in all these
 As an aside, one of their board members, Tracy Lakatua, is visiting
 Minneapolis this week and I'll be able to meet with her. It'll be like old
 home week, since she was one of the coordinators for the MN
 contingent that
 went to Washington in 1997!


 Susan Waldman writes with an idea that some of you might want to
 latch onto:

 It struck me while I was reading about the work being done in
 Michigan with
 the Girl Scouts (bless them) that what really needs to be done is
 to have a
 "good relationship" badge for the BOY SCOUTS!!!

 I wonder how many Boy Scout leaders are women.  Even if the
 leaders are men
 it would be a worthwhile venture.  We always teach girls to be
 careful, what
 to watch out for, etc.  when we really need to teach the boys how to be
 respectful, kind people.

 *Susan, Thanks for the great idea. If anyone wants to work on this we can
 connect you with Susan and you can go for it. Let us know what
 happens. More
 and more good ideas.


 Two of our recent international contacts, Hedwig Anuar and Mrs
 Anamah Tan of
 Singapore both responded to our inquiry about what they are doing in their
 region. They gave us an exciting update.

 Hedwig Anuar  (who runs AWARE) writes:

 Delighted to hear from you after Lois Herman told us about the
 good work you
 are doing to elimnate domestic violence against women - a very ambitious
 goal indeed.

 When Aware was first founded in late 1985, we concentrated on the issue of
 violence against women, including domestic violence, and war rape
 eg. we had
 a big exhibition last year on rape of Chinese women in Indonesia
 during the
 recent upheavals in that country. We have liased with the police, the
 doctors & the lawyers to have them better informed on the issue.
 There's now
 a Rape Crisis squad of policewomen in the Police Force who will accompany
 rape victims to the police, doctor & court. One of the Family Service
 Centres (these are set up by various NGOs) has initiated a project for men
 who batter & this seems to be getting positive rsults.

 We brought out a book "Men, women and violence" jointly with
 Singapore Assn
 of Women Lawyers in 1988, and also had pamphlets, talks, forums,
 exhibitions, seminars etc. on the subject.  One of our past Presidents, Dr
 Kanwaljit Soin, was a Nominated Member of Parliament & inrtoduced a Family
 Violence Bill in Parliament in 1995 during her term of office. This was
 defeated, but some of its provisions were incorporated in the revised
 Women's Charter, first passed in 1961, which gave women a large no. of
 rights, eg right to vote, to retain own name on marriage, to own property
 etc. The revisions include elder and child abuse, not only abuse against

 We feel there is much greater awareness of the issue now and are
 turning our
 attention to the problems of combining work & family, since there's a high
 participation of women (about 50%) in the labour force.

 I'll be happy to send you some material on Aware & its activities, eg our
 telephone Helpline, face to face counselling, legal clinic, & our
 related to violence against women. I look forward to receiving your
 materials in return, & to accessing your website.

 Hedwig Anuar

 And Mrs. Anamah Tan writes:

 Thank you for your welcome to Silent Witness Network.  Lois Herman is a
 fantastic network agent - Yes we are very interested in your work as it is
 one of our 3 priorities - to eradicate violence in the family.
 We even have
 the backing of the police and the Minisries of Home Affairs and Community
 Development in this area.

 It is now very simple for abused spouses to get protection orders
 and there
 is a one stop counter in the Family Court with a doctor in attendance
 andfree legal counselling and advice to assist the abused victim.
  The laws
 against domestic violence has been given a lot more teeth in the revision
 in 1996 in which we took a very active role and made many of the proposals
 for the amendment.  The police force has been very supportive and
 one of our
 affiliates has been proactive in the training of their recruits, their
 middle managements, their investigators and commanders!

 We have an Inter-Ministry Committee set up with Government ministries and
 NGOs such as ourselves to look into case management, the
 enforcement of laws
 and the raising of awareness of this social ill which we want stamped out.
 We are certainly interested in your Silent Witness exhibit in Singapore.

 With Warmest Regards.

 Mrs Anamah Tan
 President, SCWO

 *This is absolutely thrilling. We can learn so much from our
 sisters around
 the world. We share so much in common and at the same time have
 such unique
 perspectives. You two and your organizations are doing so very
 much. You are
 to be commended. Thanks for all this hard work and congratulations on all
 the success. We hope to be able to collaborate on some Silent Witness
 activities too.


 Recently there was a long article in the Corpus Christi paper about a
 wonderful couple, Bob and Barbara Arnett. They are parents of
 Bonnie Arnett
 who was a thriving young lawyer in Texas until her husband murdered her.
 They had to fight with the legal system to get her death considered a
 homicide since her husband said she committed suicide. After hiring a
 private detective they finally got the grand jury to consider her case and
 in the ensuing trial the husband was convicted of murder.

 The Arnets are working tirelessly for a battered women's shelter in Corpus
 Christi now. In March they helped organize an ambitious black tie
 fund-raiser among other things. They're also contributed generously to a
 women's safehouse in Arlington and a refuge for victims of
 domestic violence
 in Fort Worth. In addition they have started a scholarship for universtiy
 students who aspire to someday help victims of domestic abuse. One of the
 reasons this story is so poignant for me (Janet) is that Bonnie was the
 niece of one of my dear friends here in Minneapolis.

 *Great work, Barbara and Bob. We are very grateful for you. Keep up this
 incredible dedication.



 Joanne Coghill of  the Jr. League of LA has completed the design
 and photos
 of the Silent Witness Murder Meter. It is so wonderfully visual
 and will be
 a great way to focus on how your state or city is doing in
 bringing down the
 domestic murder rates for women. I will send anyone photos and
 plans if you just send me your name and address. We are so anxious to get
 these plans out to you so you can have these meters ready for your October
 events.The display has three sections, one with the Silent Witness
 information, logo and mission statement on it, one with the US domestic
 homicide rates and the other with your state or city domestic
 homicide rates
 for women. Huge kudos to Joanne for doing this work.


 A note from Kirsten Jennings, the Jr. League domestic violence guru in New
 York at Headquarters. This is the piece they posted on their web bulletin
 board about Silent Witness.

 I am pleased to be starting a new effort to use this message board to
 periodically update you on the great work that Junior Leagues are
 engaged in
 to end domestic violence. On a monthly basis, I receive an email
 from Janet Hagberg of the Silent Witness National Initiative.
 Below, I have
 attached portions from that newsletter describing exciting work being done
 by the Junior Leagues of Los Angeles, CA, Ann Arbor, MI and St. Paul, MN.

 For those of you not familiar with the Initiative, Silent Witness is a
 campaign to raise public awareness about domestic homicides with a
 travelling exhibit of free-standing, life-size silhouettes, each
 bearing the
 name and story of a woman killed by an intimate partner. Recently, League
 Presidents and SPAC Chairs received copies of Results, which was just
 published by the Silent Witness National Initiative to describe
 the progress
 of each state and major city in the United States toward reducing its
 domestic homicide rates for women. Also included are descriptions of
 specific programs that have shown results in reducing domestic violence,
 eliminating domestic murders, or changing undesirable behavior.

 Since Silent Witness genesis in 1990, Junior Leagues have been an
 part of this ongoing awareness campaign. The Junior League of Minneapolis,
 MN participated in founding the organization, and throughout the past ten
 years, 49 Leagues in 17 states as well as in Canada and Great Britain have
 given their time, labor and support to the Silent Witness Initiative.
 Currently, Junior Leagues active in the initiative include Leagues in
 California, Great Britain, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada,
 New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania,
 Tennessee, Texas and
 West Virginia.

 Please post information you would like to share regarding work your League
 is doing to end domestic violence.


 The overall number of domestic homicides for women in 1998 was
 1317, for men
 512. The number of women murdered by intimates represents 31.9%
 of all women
 murdered and the number of men murdered by intimates represents
 4.0% of all
 men murdered. The domestic homicide rate for women is up more than 100 in
 1998 over 1997.

 The columns below will not transfer on email very well so if you
 would like
 me to fax them, just let me know. They will be transferred to our web site
 within the next month.

 State     1998 DV Homicides/Women     DV Homicides/women per million
 Direction of change

 Alabama   26     5.97   down
 Alaska      3      4.89   down
 Arizona     26    5.57   up
 Arkansas   26   10.24 up
 California  132 4.04  down
 Colorado    20    5.04  up
 Connecticut 8    2.44 down
 Delaware     3    4.03 down
 Florida    no report
 Georgia       40   5.23 down
 Hawaii       4      3.35 down
 Idaho          3     2.44 down
 Illinois       22   1.83 up
 Indiana       25    4.23 up
 Iowa           8      2.80 up
 Kansas     no report
 Kentucky   15      3.81 down
 Louisiana   36     8.24 up
 Maine         7       5.63 up
 Maryland    21     4.09 down
 Mass          9       1.46 down
 Michigan    23     2.34 down
 Minnesota   6      1.27 down
 Mississippi 15    5.45 up
 Missouri     19     3.49 down
 Montana      2      2.27 down
 Nebraska    5       3.01 up
 Nevada       7       4.01 down
 New Hamp   5      4.22 down
 New Jersey 32    3.94 up
 New Mexico  8     4.61 down
 New York     48    2.64 down
 North Carol  55    7.29 down
 North Dakota 1    1.57 up
 Ohio             44    3.93 up
 Oklahoma      20   5.98 down
 Oregon          12   3.66 down
 Pennsyl         50   4.17 up
 Rhode Is        2     2.00 up
 South Carol   46  11.99 up
 South Dakota  1    1.36 down
 Tennessee      25   4.60 down
 Texas             110  5.57 up
 Utah                7     3.33 up
 Vermont          3     5.08 up
 Virginia          47    6.92 up
 Washington     19    3.34 up
 West Virginia  11   6.07 up
 Wisconsin  confirming data
 Wyoming          3     6.24 down

 If your state had the same number of domestic murders in 1998 as
 you did in
 1997 and you wonder why the homicide rate per million has decreased, as is
 the case in several states, it is because the population increased and you
 are actually doing a better job keeping the murder rates down
 than you might
 have thought.

 I leave you today with a blessing that I hope will stimulate your thinking
 as much as it did mine.

 May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and
 superficial relationships...
 So that you will live deep in your heart.

 May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of
 people and the earth...
 So that you will work for justice, equity, and peace.

 May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer...So you will
 reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain into joy.

 And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a
 difference in the world...
 So you will do things which others say cannot be done.


 Cheers, you angels who are blessed with foolishness!




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