April 18, 2003
April is sexual assault awareness month, a time in which many of you
have events that involve the Silent Witnesses. We would love to
hear about what
you are doing and how it is spreading the word about hope and healing.
Please keep us informed about your important work.
WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:
Ben Atherton-Zeman (Communication Specialist, Women's Resource Center,
Sharon Montignino (SW Wyoming, new email address), Norm Olson (Father
homicide victim, Montana), Andrea Mesa (walking in balance Family Violence
Intervention Center, Tucson, AZ)
ATTENTION: If you are a mother, daughter,
grandmother or sister of a woman
or man who's been murdered in domestic violence and would like to
comforting hand made shawl to remind you of the care and love of others
please contact me. We have shawls available and would love to give
If you know of other women who have a loved one who has been murdered
in DV, let us know her name as well. We also have a limited number of scarves
men who are close relatives of murdered women. Thanks. Please pass
this word along so the healing can move forward Jhagberg@mn.rr.com.
We also have quilts for kids whose mothers were murdered in
acts of DV. See special story
on Augusta Rodgers in the world-wide section of this newsletter.
NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:
From CAEPV: Kansas has added unemployment insurance benefits for employees leaving
work due to circumstances resulting from domestic violence committed
against the employee or the employee's spouse or dependent child, including
(a) "reasonable fear of future domestic violence
at or en
route to or from the individual's place of employment;"
relocate to another geographic area in order to avoid future domestic
(c) "need to address the physical, psychological
impacts of domestic violence;"
(d) "need to leave employment
as a condition of receiving services or shelter from an agency
which provides support services or shelter to victims of domestic violence;" or
belief that termination of employment is necessary to avoid other situations which
may cause domestic violence and to provide for the future safety of
the individual or the individual's family." The bill was signed
into law April 14, 2003, and becomes effective July 1, 2003.
are very much a part of the solution and this awareness will work
to reduce DV in the workplace.
Missouri: We need your help!
Jody Carroll, in Lee's Summit writes about books!
The Mid Continent Library in Grandview, MO will display the Silent Witness silhouettes
(13 of them) from 4/17/03 - 4/24/03. We've collected materials
from the various shelters in the area, from MCADV, and the Attorney
General's office to have available for those interested. A book list
and adults) was organized as well .. though we are short on Kids titles,
anyone knows some good ones, that would be really helpful! We've also
up specific times for a wide variety of DV professionals to be available
the library for questions or discussion generated from those who see
Silent Witness silhouettes (attorney, clergy, advocates, friends and
of DV victims, "success stories" etc). Our goal is to make
programming available to the library systems throughout the Kansas City metro
area. If anyone has done something like this, I'd love to know what you did and how it turned out ..!
*Jody, what a great idea. I hope this is just the beginning of library
involvement throughout the US and the world. Go for it.
This news from CAEPV: Medical and life insurance companies are now banned from
discriminating against victims of domestic abuse under a bill signed
on April 14 by New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey. If state
violations, fines can range up to $5,000. The new law also gives regulators
the power to file state and federal lawsuits against insurance companies
*Great going, NJ. You are a model for the rest of the country on this.
Rhode Island now has a DV court which the RI Coalition was instrumental
in getting launched. It could be an important step in helping
RI reduce its DV
statistics. The Attorney General has asked to have the Silent Witness'
Unknown woman permanently displayed in the foyer of their office in downtown
*Such good news about activists working on all levels of intervention.
Good to have this Silent Witness presence too.
Sheila Shawl Stories:
California: Hi my name is Michelle and my mother was murdered when I
was almost five by her ex-husband.....my step father. I am now
almost forty-four and still have problems even writing this e-mail.
I live my life trying to forget. Maybe this can help. I know the
shawl will comfort me and I am so
lucky to have found the web site that directed me to you. I really feel
great that you turned your grief into such a positive project. Please
that I am sorry for what happened to Sheila. It is so painful to deal
the loss of a loved one.
Thanks again Sincerely, Michelle Thanks so much for caring
Every time I see a Wellstone bumper sticker, I am reminded
Sheila and Paul and our loss as a state and a nation. I am a local designer in
St. Paul and would like to donate the instructions to one of my triangular shawls. I'll scan in a photo today and send it with the
instructions this weekend. It's a simple shawl, very easy to knit. I'm
already working on one now for Sheila's Shawls.
Theresa Gaffey. [note: Theresa's shawl pattern will appear on our web
with her photo soon. Try knitting it. You'll love it.]
was murdered in Abilene in September. She was born and raised
here in the Flathead Valley (NW Montana) and graduated U of M in
2002. She had moved to Abilene to begin her first full time job in
her chosen career, and 3 months later was murdered in her
apartment. The police
have conducted many dna lab tests, but now I'm told their budget
allowing them to pursue the investigation as completely as they had
been. The shock and grief are devastating. We are blessed
to be surrounded by
exceptional people who are friends and have given unbelievable support.
going to be a long journey to find a brighter day, but we do have
help. Its been 7 months since Jenn was murdered, I went to grief
for 4 months and still find, and realize, this will always be something
that hits me some days just as bad as the first day. Thank
you for writing, I hope you have peace in your life. Norman
I want to thank you for responding to my email so quickly. Rolanda
was killed at the age of 24 and left behind 2 young children ages 2 & 3.
A protective order was pending but was not in effect fast enough
to keep her safe. Rolanda's husband found her at her mother's
apartment where he drug
her out by her hair. She managed to break away but he opened fire killing
her instantly. He then killed himself. I wanted these shawls to be
a surprise as well as my gift to her family. Is there any way
that you can give me the list of shawls and I will then have
them choose? Having her
story put on the website would be wonderful. I want to do everything possible
to honor and remember her. She was the best friend anyone could
ask for. I was blessed to know her. Vanessa
NEWS FROM WORLDWIDE HEADQUARTERS:
Quilts for Kids is Launched:
Augusta Rodgers, a 12-year-old
girl from Winona, Minnesota, heard about the Sheila¹s Shawl
project and wondered if she could start a project for the children
of domestic homicide victims. We said, "of course" and
that¹s how the Quilts for Kids project
Augusta has had the help of her grandparents and has already gathered several
quilts to give to kids. She has included a simple quilt pattern (on our
web site, www.silentwitness.net)
and would love to have kids or adults make these quilts and send
them to her, along with a photo of the quilter
with her/his quilt. We would appreciate if you would send these quilts
directly to her since this is her program. She will love to see your creativity
and have the experience of sending these along to other children.