April 01 Newsletter
Now is the time to be strategic about
moving forward in healing domestic
violence in your communities. You can use the Results book to
persuade and to motivate groups to get Results projects started.
of the book to key leaders, government officials, task force
organization presidents. Choose the project that your organization
drawn to and start a small group to get it moving. And please let me
what happens. I can feel the excitement building already as word of
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
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
murder rates, twenty-two states increased their domestic murder
twelve states had 2.50 or fewer domestic homicides per million (same
1997) and twenty-one states were in the middle rate per million
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
of this Millennium will have the best chance to really make a
sometimes takes awhile for a program to show success. Thanks to all
who are committed to Silent Witness and to really making a
I've said before, you are angels.
Welcome new email correspondents:
Anamah Tan (Singapore Council of Women's Organizations), Hedwig
(AWARE, the Association of Women for Action and Research,
Loris (State Board of Control, Sacramento), Donna White (Tigard,
NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:
Marsha McKinzie, our AAUW Silent Witness coordinator in Alaska
Just to let you know - Alaska's Silent Witnesses are traveling to
display during the month of April. The Sitka-Mt. Edgecumbe
Branch of the
American Association of University Women is sponsoring the display
working with the local women's shelter to help increase public
domestic violence in this small community. This means that
will have been displayed in six different communities and have
several thousand miles, not counting their first trip to Washington,
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
husband and I really did a lot of healing through this project. A
you for that. Thank all of you for making this happen. This is
*Catherine, letters like this keep all of us going for a very long
Please write about your experiences with Silent Witness. It would be
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
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
the Witnesses will be even greater.
*Thanks Sharon for informing us of this great opportunity for the
Witnesses to raise more awareness in Sacramento. Other states
to duplicate the poster in our first book which we called the
It has an all black background and white lettering. Kinkos could do
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
conducting court monitoring workshops.
They also donate several dozen teddy bears each year to the
Police Department Domestic Violence Unit. The NCJW Court Watch
knitted sweaters and hats and made necklaces with loving messages
of these bears. The bears will be distributed to small children
domestic violence calls.
This is all in addition to the wonderful news we reported last month
they are now going to have a trial period for a separate criminal
violence court in their county.
*Connie and Diane, this is great news. We're so proud of all the
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
Witness' mother organization for several years. Lorraine has done
bookkeeping for several years in her spare time for a pittance. She
wonderful person and a great supporter. We applaud her work and
whole heartedly. Kudos to Lorraine.
Carol Lee, one of the sisters of a Minnesota Silent Witness has
resident council of the St. Paul YWCA create a set of their own
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
events. Their Witnesses will appear along with the original
at the Mall of America in early April and at the Institute on
Violence in the African-American Community's Forum at the University
Minnesota in June.
One of the Witnesses Carol Lee was helping to make struck very close
home. She found out that the young woman whose throat was slashed
body thrown from a balcony was the sister-in-law of a man who she
every day at the Radisson Hotel.
*Carol Lee, this is such a great effort that you and the resident
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
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
new Board members. All wonderfully committed women who really
Silent Witness movement. We are glad to have Eleanor Challen,
Wickes-Connick and Anna Marie Barber on board.
One of the certified counselors who attended our Stosny and Court
seminars last October has decided to take Stosny's comprehensive
this spring and will do so in May in Tulsa. We are going to do
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
with the state Attorney General (who is running for governor this
are hoping he will continue his support for SW into the
but in the meantime, we are going to be asking him for support in
some new reporting measurement guides as we have such difficulty
information out of the County Attorney and Coronor offices.
legislature will be in session this next January, and we are
on having the Witnesses on display for the entire month of February.
we are STILL looking for a good trailer to both house and transport
*Jerri this is more testimony to your strong persistance. It always
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
home week, since she was one of the coordinators for the MN
went to Washington in 1997!
Susan Waldman writes with an idea that some of you might want to
It struck me while I was reading about the work being done in
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
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
connect you with Susan and you can go for it. Let us know what
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
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
When Aware was first founded in late 1985, we concentrated on the
violence against women, including domestic violence, and war rape
eg. we had
a big exhibition last year on rape of Chinese women in Indonesia
recent upheavals in that country. We have liased with the police,
doctors & the lawyers to have them better informed on the issue.
a Rape Crisis squad of policewomen in the Police Force who will
rape victims to the police, doctor & court. One of the Family
Centres (these are set up by various NGOs) has initiated a project
who batter & this seems to be getting positive rsults.
We brought out a book "Men, women and violence" jointly
of Women Lawyers in 1988, and also had pamphlets, talks, forums,
exhibitions, seminars etc. on the subject. One of our past
Kanwaljit Soin, was a Nominated Member of Parliament &
inrtoduced a Family
Violence Bill in Parliament in 1995 during her term of office. This
defeated, but some of its provisions were incorporated in the
Women's Charter, first passed in 1961, which gave women a large no.
rights, eg right to vote, to retain own name on marriage, to own
etc. The revisions include elder and child abuse, not only abuse
We feel there is much greater awareness of the issue now and are
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, &
related to violence against women. I look forward to receiving your
materials in return, & to accessing your website.
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
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
Development in this area.
It is now very simple for abused spouses to get protection orders
is a one stop counter in the Family Court with a doctor in
andfree legal counselling and advice to assist the abused victim.
against domestic violence has been given a lot more teeth in the
in 1996 in which we took a very active role and made many of the
for the amendment. The police force has been very supportive
one of our
affiliates has been proactive in the training of their recruits,
middle managements, their investigators and commanders!
We have an Inter-Ministry Committee set up with Government
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
We are certainly interested in your Silent Witness exhibit in
With Warmest Regards.
Mrs Anamah Tan
*This is absolutely thrilling. We can learn so much from our
the world. We share so much in common and at the same time have
perspectives. You two and your organizations are doing so very
much. You are
to be commended. Thanks for all this hard work and congratulations
the success. We hope to be able to collaborate on some Silent
Recently there was a long article in the Corpus Christi paper about
wonderful couple, Bob and Barbara Arnett. They are parents of
who was a thriving young lawyer in Texas until her husband murdered
They had to fight with the legal system to get her death considered
homicide since her husband said she committed suicide. After hiring
private detective they finally got the grand jury to consider her
in the ensuing trial the husband was convicted of murder.
The Arnets are working tirelessly for a battered women's shelter in
Christi now. In March they helped organize an ambitious black tie
fund-raiser among other things. They're also contributed generously
women's safehouse in Arlington and a refuge for victims of
in Fort Worth. In addition they have started a scholarship for
students who aspire to someday help victims of domestic abuse. One
reasons this story is so poignant for me (Janet) is that Bonnie was
niece of one of my dear friends here in Minneapolis.
*Great work, Barbara and Bob. We are very grateful for you. Keep up
NEWS FROM NATIONAL HEADQUERTERS:
MURDER METERS ARE DESIGNED AND READY TO BE SENT:
Joanne Coghill of the Jr. League of LA has completed the
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
these plans out to you so you can have these meters ready for your
events.The display has three sections, one with the Silent Witness
information, logo and mission statement on it, one with the US
homicide rates and the other with your state or city domestic
for women. Huge kudos to Joanne for doing this work.
JUNIOR LEAGUE LINKS WITH SILENT WITNESS AT NATIONAL LEVEL
A note from Kirsten Jennings, the Jr. League domestic violence guru
York at Headquarters. This is the piece they posted on their web
board about Silent Witness.
I am pleased to be starting a new effort to use this message board
periodically update you on the great work that Junior Leagues are
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
by the Junior Leagues of Los Angeles, CA, Ann Arbor, MI and St.
For those of you not familiar with the Initiative, Silent Witness is
campaign to raise public awareness about domestic homicides with a
travelling exhibit of free-standing, life-size silhouettes, each
name and story of a woman killed by an intimate partner. Recently,
Presidents and SPAC Chairs received copies of Results, which was
published by the Silent Witness National Initiative to describe
of each state and major city in the United States toward reducing
domestic homicide rates for women. Also included are descriptions of
specific programs that have shown results in reducing domestic
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
MN participated in founding the organization, and throughout the
years, 49 Leagues in 17 states as well as in Canada and Great
given their time, labor and support to the Silent Witness
Currently, Junior Leagues active in the initiative include Leagues
California, Great Britain, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota,
New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, Texas and
Please post information you would like to share regarding work your
is doing to end domestic violence.
SUMMARY OF STATES' RESULTS IN REDUCING DOMESTIC HOMICIDES OF WOMEN
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
1998 over 1997.
The columns below will not transfer on email very well so if you
me to fax them, just let me know. They will be transferred to our
within the next month.
State 1998 DV Homicides/Women
DV Homicides/women per million
Direction of change
Alabama 26 5.97 down
Arizona 26 5.57
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
Illinois 22 1.83 up
Kansas no report
Kentucky 15 3.81 down
Louisiana 36 8.24 up
Maryland 21 4.09 down
Michigan 23 2.34 down
Minnesota 6 1.27 down
Mississippi 15 5.45 up
Missouri 19 3.49
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
44 3.93 up
Oklahoma 20 5.98 down
Rhode Is 2
South Carol 46 11.99 up
South Dakota 1 1.36 down
Tennessee 25 4.60 down
110 5.57 up
7 3.33 up
Washington 19 3.34 up
West Virginia 11 6.07 up
Wisconsin confirming data
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,
the case in several states, it is because the population increased
are actually doing a better job keeping the murder rates down
than you might
I leave you today with a blessing that I hope will stimulate your
as much as it did mine.
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and
So that you will live deep in your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and
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
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
difference in the world...
So you will do things which others say cannot be done.
Cheers, you angels who are blessed with foolishness!