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April 30, 2006

Dear Friends,

            Today we have some very exciting things to report and a great newsletter. Please look down at Vermont's section for some very exciting news!!!         

            This month I received this email from Kristy and I wanted to share it because I think it is a great idea!

            Thank you for this very valuable site. I am a member of Women Against Domestic Violence. We are currently in the brainstorm mode of writing a letter to all the states Governors to show the statistics that prove what domestic violence causes taxpayers. From the very beginning of a call for help to the police, ambulance, emergency room, crisis counselors, social services, and then family counseling. We are particularly interested in just one case and then multiply it by the thousands of calls that come in daily. It is our hope that taxpaying citizens will respond to the expense, as they have with tobacco related illnesses. It is a silent crime that cost tax paying citizens billions of dollars a year. Our hopes are to reach MADD with this information so that they may encourage our politicians to fund more resources for drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. That comes from the courts involved in DUI cases. A DUI is called a $15, 000.00 hangover. We would like to see some of that money trickle to drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers that are closing their door because of Government cut backs.
                Statistics prove that DV situations rise with use of alcohol and/or drugs. The area in which I reside in Southern Colorado there are no immediate services available to drug addicts and/or alcoholics. I am an Emergency Medical Technician and find it very frustrating to be called out numerous times a month to take an overdose patient to the hospital only to find out that emergency rooms released the patient within hours of their arrival. They pump their stomach and send them home because their crisis units have been closed because of funding. I can later return to the home to find that a child has been beaten or the wife has been beaten because that person was intoxicated or high.  As a DV survivor and offer help to women in crisis it is very frustrating to find out how many women and children are turned away from shelters because they are overloaded or charge for the family to stay there. It is a nominal fee but for a woman that has escaped her situation it may be impossible for her to find the funds. This particular shelter has to mandate this because their funding has been greatly reduced and fund raisers are hard when you are trying to stay silent in order to protect battered women and children. Please any information that you can send to me would be greatly appreciated. Again I thank you for this site it has answered some questions that some DV survivors have to get the wheels turning...

            Massachusetts has an exhibit of 40 silhouettes that they can no longer handle. If there is anyone in Massachusetts that can take on this role and continue the good work that they have done please email me to let me know!

            I would love for you to send me updates on where you are displaying the silhouettes and other ways you are making a difference and ending domestic homicide! Please email me any stories or press releases that you have! I love to add them to the newsletter! Silentwitness2010@gmail.com

            I would like to welcome our new newsletter subscribers:





















































Rev. T Patrick




I would also like to welcome and thank the people who are thinking about starting new exhibits in their area or bringing an existing exhibit to the area!


  • Alabama
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

We almost have one for every state just a few more!!

Here are the newest coordinators:

Tammy Stanford







Robyn Ostermeyer

  Tracy Hommel                   Delaware

We now have an official job description:

The state coordinator keeps track of who in the state have exhibits. Some coordinators have regular correspondence, usually by email, with the groups. They are the contact person for someone who would like to start a new exhibit. They share the shield stories they already have in order to help people not repeat the work that was already done. Some may recruit new SW exhibits as well. Some may coordinate the donating and borrowing of an exhibit for people to use across the state. Some sponsor an event in October for everyone to come to, but others just publicize the events of others. They also keep in touch with us by email or phone to let us know what is happening, keep us up on emerging issues, ask for advice or other things they needed. This may take two to three hours a week in email correspondence. During busier times it may be up to four or five hours.

As you can see we still need many more coordinators! I know that there are people who help and loan exhibits across the state automatically so it would be great to get the information out there for everyone.

  What's Up with Sheila's Shawls?

Let's knit Sheila's Shawls and Paul's Scarves!

A special for Sheila's shawls Knitters and crocheters. "For charities Buy one bag at $20.00 gets a second bag free. They're 100 gram balls and this is the perfect stuff for quick knit scarves and shawls. Perhaps the charity could put the word out that every $20 buys one bag and we will match the donation with one bag thus generating a huge amount of yarn for the group to produce with! Happy to work on it with you. It would be a win â win. We would find a great cause for the yarn and of course, it would arm volunteers for quite a while."

Here is the description of the PAGODA yarn, found at soysilk.com :
100% Polyester

100 gram / 100 meters
13 sts 14 rows = 4" US10.5
311-Bear Cub
312-Circus Pony

If you wish to purchase this yarn for your charity knitting, please send an
E-mail to jonelle@soysilk.com

In Minnesota:
Renee Youngberg met with Vision Loss Resources. Knitting and crocheting group for the visually impaired. They are now knitting for Sheila's shawls and the community. They started by contributing 50 scarves for the Paul's Scarves portion of the organization.

Renee Youngberg was interviewed by Judy Skye-Voss for the Channel 17 Local Image Cable Television show; sharing information about Sheila's shawls and the connection to Silent Witness Initiative.  Here is a response from a woman who saw the program and asked for help.

  Hello- My name is (private) and I asked to join so that I could find out how to get a shawl. I live in MN and am going through a really tough time right now and find myself quite alone in the struggle. I know that the focus of this group is not for me to share my story or get help and so I will not go into the details here. I am temporarily staying at a neighbor's house and have not been able to get back on the computer for about a week because her computer was down. I then went into my email and discovered messages from your group that had all gone into the junk folder automatically. I think I fixed that problem. Anyway- I could really use something right now to help me to realize that I am not alone in all of this and saw a local program where they talked of the shawl program and the website. I know the basics of knitting and crocheting and so plan to repay your group in the future with making some shawls myself once I am back on my feet and found my way. But for now, I find that I could really use the love and prayers that would be associated with a shawl and my shoulders right now feel like they are holding more weight than I can bear. I am hoping that a shawl could help to ease the burden a bit if that makes any sense. I have gone to the local women's shelter in the past for help. I miss my children and my home and my dogs and could use some prayers right now too. Thanks so much.
Here is information from South Carolina.
Plucked from woods near golf course
By Paul Nelson and Janelle Frost

The Sun News
Two weeks to the day after Rebekah Grainger was shot dead in her Little River condominium, authorities on Monday collared her estranged husband and the man suspected in her death, Louis Winkler, after a tipster reported seeing him at a golf course. Around 1:30 p.m. a Horry County dispatcher took a call from an unidentified employee of the Eagle Nest Golf Club in Little River that he or she had just spotted a "suspicious-looking man with dirty clothing," said Andy Christenson of the Horry County Police Department. The man, the caller said, darted into a heavily wooded area after realizing he had been seen. The golf course is located off U.S. 17 in Little River and is only a few miles driving distance from the Bay Tree Golf Resort condo where Grainger was shot in the head about 5:30 p.m. March 6. Using bloodhounds, police tracked the man's scent through the woods for about four hours before they caught up with a disheveled-looking Winkler at 5:50 p.m., Christensen said. A State Law Enforcement Division helicopter surveyed the scene from above for any signs of Winkler. In all, about 60 state and county law enforcement officials on the ground and in the air assisted in the manhunt, Christen son said. Rebekah Grainger's former husband, Roger Grainger, expressed relief upon learning of Winkler's capture. "I'm glad because you got the kids who can't hardly sleep and they're looking around the corner," he said. "I'm just glad it's over and they don't have to worry about him." Rebekah Grainger, 50, had lived in Bay Tree about six months with her 21-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son.   Authorities issued a nationwide alert for Winkler, 45, following the slaying. Christenson said Monday that authorities had determined there was a "good probability" that Winkler, an avid outdoorsman, had never left the area. "He [Winkler] was very familiar with the area," Christenson said. Grainger's death occurred in between two other domestic-related killings in Georgetown and Horry counties earlier this month. No arraignment had been set for Winkler as of Monday night. Winkler, who had been jailed on charges of kidnapping and sexually assaulting her in October, was released on bail and then placed under house arrest with electronic monitoring.
End of article

Family information revealed that the husband broke the door in, knocked the 16 year old son to the ground and shot Becky before she could get off the couch.  He then turned his gun on the boy, who cried and begged for his life.  By the grace of God he was spared.

Two daughters were presented with prayer shawls. Sheila's Shawls also gave a purple afghan to the 16 year old son.

I wanted to update you on the purple afghan and its new owner.   When Michael Winkler  (husband & murderer of Rebekah) had his bond hearing, it was flatly denied by the judge.  This in itself is a huge victory; he will be in jail until his trial, which may be as soon as next January.

The Victim's son was an eyewitness to his mother's murder and was nearly a victim himself.  He didn't speak for days after his mother's death.  His sister passed along the purple afghan; Jonathan has now agreed to testify at Winkler's trial.

A Male Silent Witness -
Hello My name is Linda Williamson and I am with the Silent Witness
Initiative.  We held our 1st Male Silent Witness on April 08, 2006. The
families of Mr. Roland Fils, Jr. were very happy to receive it! He was
murdered on April 08, 1999 with his cousin Alicia Issac.  Thank you very
much for the shawls.

Domestic Peace and Blessings,

Renee Youngberg

National Coordinator

Sheila' Shawls and Paul's Scarves.



Kansas :

From Christina :

Every year we hold a Take Back the Night event at Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS.  Take Back the Night is held to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault. This year we had two speakers, a live band (Tim Anthony and the Animals), and Self Defense tactics.  Leading up the event we posted statistics of domestic violence and sexual assault around campus (for a month).  However, this year we also wanted to have our own silent witnesses.  Two years ago we borrowed the witnesses from Kansas City; but this year we could not make this happen.  We contacted our police office and district county court for reports of deaths in Ellis
County for our silent witness, but because our community is rural, we have had only two or three (still pending) deaths as a result of domestic violence.  We were uneasy with posting the stories of the victims because we didn't want to cause any one to feel uncomfortable on campus.  Instead, another committee member and I designed three silhouettes, a woman, a child, and a man holding hands.  On each we posted the number of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Kansas and in Ellis County.  We also posted the number of women, children, and men killed as a result of domestic violence in Kansas and Ellis County.  If you would like more information regarding Take Back the Night, please feel free to email me at cwolf@fhsu.edu .

Louisiana :

From Catalene B. Theriot :

V oices O f Innocent C itizens E mpowered

We have our silhouettes standing proud for our rally!

Minnesota :

From Bonnie Watkins:

Thursday, April 27, 7PM at South High School in Minneapolis , the DFL Feminist Caucus hosts a 5th Congressional District Candidate Forum.   All eleven DFL candidates, including three women, will participate.

Tuesday, May 9 is the deadline to register for the 2006 Training Institute: Domestic Violence and the Immigrant & Refugee Community, which will be held May 16-17 in Alexandria, Minnesota, hosted by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.   The scholarship registration deadline is May 5. dkluz@mcbw.org

Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 are the dates for the annual Divas and Desserts party and concert of the Twin Cities Women's Choir, at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Avenue South, Minneapolis.  Doors open at 7PM for the silent auction.  Music selections range from familiar tunes like "Java Jive" and "What a Wonderful World" to Brahms classics to new and fresh choral pieces designed to honor women's strength complemented by songs of beauty. Saturday's performance will be ASL interpreted and the church is handicapped accessible.   Tickets are reserved seating:  advance tickets are $17 for adults or $15 for seniors/students; tickets at the door are $20. Reserve tickets in advance by calling 612/333-TCWC (please leave a message).

Also Friday, May 5, WomenVenture presents a new professional growth seminar, "Polish Your Pitch."   www.womenventure.org

Wednesday, May 10, 7PM at the St. Anthony Park branch library, the Women's Human Rights Film Series presents "God Sleeps in Rwanda."  The Rwandan genocide left the country nearly 70% female, handing Rwanda's women an extraordinary burden and unprecedented opportunity.   mhunt@mnadvocates.org On Saturday May 6th, Melpomene sponsors The Run/Walk for Every Body starting with the Co-Ed5K walk at 8AM and ending with the Men's 5K Run at 10:15, all starting at the intersection of Summit Avenue and Mississippi River Blvd in St. Paul. In between are the 3K Family Walk, Kids less than 12 events, Wheelchair race, and women's 5K run.

New Hampshire :

Hi, I am the President of the Gay/Straight Alliance here at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire . We will be obtaining 6 witnesses that we will be putting on display within our campus two days prior to our Take Back the Night Event happening on April 19th. The Silent Witnesses will be on display April 17-19 from 10am-7pm.

Texas :

From Vanessa Roberts:

In Abilene, TX at McMurry University they had the silhouettes proudly displayed around campus.

Vermont :

From Clarrisa Hernandez:

  Vermont Records First Year with No Domestic Violence Murders
Montpelier , Vermont - April 13, 2006

For what is believed to be the first time on record, Vermont had no murders that were the result of domestic violence in 2005.

In 1991, Vermont authorities and lawmakers decided to get tough on domestic abuse after a record-setting year of 24 murders, 22 of them the result of domestic violence. It appears the response may be working, because last year, for the first time in state history, not one murder was triggered by domestic violence.

There were seven murders in Vermont in 2005. Motives included rapes, road rage, and robbery. But for the first time on record none of the murders were motivated by domestic violence.

"Well obviously that's good news, it reflects a lot of hard work being done in a number of areas to deal with the issue of domestic violence," said Kerry Sleeper, Vt. Public Safety Commissioner.

Sleeper was a state trooper in 1991, when 24 people were murdered in Vermont, most of them involving domestic violence. That triggered tough new domestic abuse laws, new protection programs for victims, and public education.

"And that comprehensive approach appears to be working, at least in the areas of domestic homicide," said Sleeper.

"So we would want to hope that we are making a difference. Otherwise what's the point?" said Anera Foco of Women Helping Battered Women.

Foco says domestic murders may have been zero last year, but the number of abused women seeking help from Women Helping Battered Women has increased more than 50% since 1995, from 1320 to 2000.

"The homicide is the extreme part of domestic violence. No we are not seeing decreased numbers unfortunately," Foco added.

Vermont will not post another zero for domestic murders this year.

So far in 2006 there have been two murders. One is a domestic violence case, according to police. Frankie Niles is charged with second-degree murder for the death of his girlfriend Tina Fontaine in Albany.


Virginia :

From Julia Campbell:





  World NEWS:

From the CAPEV update:


  Springfield , IL - Local police agencies' immunity from lawsuits does not apply when they fail to intervene in domestic violence cases, the state Supreme Court of Illinois ruled on April 20. Justices decreed that the estate of a Chicago woman may sue police for allegedly ignoring her April 2002 call for help when her estranged husband entered her home with a gun. Witnesses saw two police officers outside the residence in their car, but they drove away without going inside. Ronyale White was shot to death minutes later.

In a separate opinion, however, the court upheld the decades-old tort immunity law, which bars lawsuits against local governments to prevent a flood of litigation that would overburden taxpayers.

The court ruled that the estate of Doris Hays may not sue authorities in Rock Island and Henry counties after a witness reported Hays drove off a highway into a ditch but no one investigated. Hays' body was found three days later near her car at the accident scene.

In the Chicago case, the court decided that the domestic violence law trumped the tort immunity act. The unanimous decision by Justice Thomas Fitzgerald points out that the domestic violence statute grants immunity against local governments "unless the act is a result of willful or wanton misconduct."

There is no such provision in the 41-year-old tort immunity act, which the court said applies to the Hays case. Justice Mary Ann McMorrow believes there should be. As in past cases, she dissented in the Hays matter, arguing that if the Legislature intended to protect local governments from lawsuits for willful and wanton misconduct, the law should say so.

"Blanket immunity should not be afforded to acts performed by local governmental entities or government officials in bad faith, especially where the provision of life-and-death police protection services are at issue," McMorrow wrote.  The cases are Moore v. Green and DeSmet v. Rock Island.

On the Net: http://www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/Search.htm


New York , NY - Last week, the ACLU Women ' s Rights Project filed EEOC charges on behalf of a domestic violence victim who was discriminated and retaliated against by her employer after she revealed that she was the victim of domestic abuse and took measures to assert her legal rights as a victim.   According to Caroline Bettinger-L ' pez of the ACLU Women ' s Rights Project, this EEOC filing followed on the heals of a lawsuit that they filed last month on behalf of this employee, alleging violations of the 2001 and 2003 amendments to the New York City Human Rights Law, which prohibit employment discrimination against domestic violence victims and require employers to provide victims with reasonable accommodations. According to the ACLU, the client was terminated by her employer after she revealed that she was a victim of domestic violence and requested time off to attend to medical, legal, and other safety needs, and a safety transfer to another worksite.  Each time the client asserted her rights as a victim of domestic violence and attempted to protect her from continued abuse, her employer retaliated against her by systematically increasing threats of discipline and actual discipline of her, and ultimately terminating her.  In the lawsuit, the ACLU requests reinstatement, a safety transfer, back pay, monetary compensation for emotional distress, and other appropriate relief.

Caroline says ," We hope that our case will build off the success of Reynolds v. Fraser, the first case brought under these new provisions of the New York City Human Rights Law.  That case was brought as a special Article 78 proceeding challenging the decision of the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) to terminate a victim of domestic violence after she revealed her victim status.  In a lengthy consideration of the public policy reasons behind the amended New York City legislation, the judge in Reynolds found that [t]he ability to hold on to a job is one of a victim ' s most valuable weapons in the war for survival, since gainful employment is the key to independence from the batterer.  The judge then vacated DOC ' s decision to terminate Ms. Reynolds employment and ordered reinstatement and back pay.

If you have questions, or if you would like to receive a redacted copy of the complaint, you may contact Caroline Bettinger-L ' pez at cbettingerlopez@aclu.org .  We will update you on the outcome of this case.


A summit to raise awareness in Eastern Idaho about domestic violence was recently announced by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo at a news conference in Idaho Falls. Crapo also voiced his support for the Liz Claiborne Love Is Not Abuse dating violence curriculum.  The Idaho Summit on Developing a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence will be held at Idaho State University in Pocatello and will feature community leaders, health professionals, law enforcement and others.

Senator Crapo is scheduled to speak specifically on teen dating violence at the summit on June 2.  In announcing the summit, Senator Crapo also endorsed the Love Is Not Abuse curriculum, provided free to schools, that helps raise awareness of teen dating violence, both physical and emotional.  Bringing this information to schools is vital to keep our kids safe and out of abusive relationships that have negative lifelong affects, Crapo said. Our young students need all the tools to confront the problem of teen dating violence. This curriculum provided by Liz Claiborne is just one of many that can help provide those resources.

The Liz Claiborne teen dating violence prevention curriculum, Love Is Not Abuse, draws on poetry, essays, writing and literature for students to build open discussion, life skills and literacy. The curriculum is designed to be used as a resource in classrooms and encourages discussion between teens and with teachers and other adults about abusive behavior.  Senator Crapo has been a long-time advocate for raising awareness on violent relationships and authored a Senate resolution earlier this year that declared February 6-10 National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week.  For more information on these and other teen dating violence initiatives, go to http://crapo.senate.gov , www.loveisnotabuse.com , or www.breakthecycle.org . For a resource to reach the younger teenage population, visit www.girlsallowed.org .  


Men teach boys how to hit a baseball, hit the net, hit the receiver, and much more. But are men taking the time to teach boys that violence against women and girls is wrong?

The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), the Waitt Institute and the Advertising Council recently released a new 30-second public service advertisement (PSA) for television that invites men to do so. It is the newest component of the Coaching Boys Into Men campaign, launched in 2002.

The Coaching Boys Into Men campaign has invited men to be part of the solution by teaching the next generation that violence is always wrong, said FVPF President Esta Soler. We are enormously grateful to McCann Erickson San Francisco and the Ad Council for their support and to the Waitt Institute for its generosity. This powerful new spot will do even more to keep women and children safe by helping stop domestic and sexual violence.

The campaign is changing men ' s behavior. A study by Millward Brown, Inc. and RMA, Inc. found a significant increase in the proportion of men who have taken the action promoted in the PSAs speaking to boys about violence. Twenty-nine percent said they had done so in November of 2001, before Coaching Boys Into Men launched, and 41 percent had done so in February of last year. The spots are especially meaningful to parents, 56 percent of whom have spoken to their sons or other boys about the issue. Fifty-seven percent of fathers said they now speak to boys about violence, compared to 29 percent of men who are not fathers.

McCann Erickson San Francisco created the new English-language PSA pro bono; it is available for viewing at www.endabuse.org/cbim/ .  The PSAs direct audiences to visit www.endabuse.org for tips on how to talk to boys about violence against women and girls.  The Ad Council is distributing the PSAs to media outlets nationwide, to run in time and space donated by media. Since 2002, Coaching Boys Into Men has received tens of millions of dollars in donated media and four million unique visitors have come to the campaign website. (Source:  Family Violence Prevention Fund NewsFlash, 4/14/06)

Make a difference J


Cassie Pritchard



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