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April 19, 2002


Dear Friends,

I continue to be moved by your largesse. When I wrote you this week to please send stories and photos of women who were murdered by their boyfriends I got a report back within 24 hours from Tara that the response had been wonderful. Thank you for being YOU once again. Angels, all of you.

Speaking of angels, my heart is so warmed whenever I go to a place in which the Silent Witnesses are displayed. This last week I was privileged to be at a gathering with the original 27 Silent Witnesses again. You'd think I'd be almost immune to their effects after 12 years. But I was riveted again by their presence. One family has put the photo of the slain woman on her silhouette. It is even more personal when you can see her personality shining out from the photo. The Native American Silent Witnesses have headdresses. It was an amazing experience for me. More details on the event I went to in Minnesota later in this newsletter.

So whenever you think that what you are doing may be getting old hat or that people will not be moved by it the same way as they were last year etc., just remember that the Witnesses are doing the "talking" and they will just never quit, nor will their stories be forgotten. Every time people see the red figures, even from afar, they start remembering the stories of the women who were murdered. The Silent Witnesses know how to get right to our hearts.

Keep up your great work.

Laurie (Laura's House, San Clemente, CA), Jane Desberg (New email address).



David Nybakke suggested we be aware of the work of James Poling in counseling perpetrators. Here are a few notes about him.

James Poling is at Garrett Seminary and wrote "Abuse of Power" and "Deliver Us From Evil" and, while working at the seminary, he does counseling with perpetrators of domestic violence. He teams with Marie Fortune (Center for Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Abuse in Seattle) whenever the opportunity arises. Also, a reading that James Poling uses in his "Abuse of Power" class at Garrett is a book entitled, "Proverbs of Ashes," a powerful book from the pens of two women theologians that have struggled with how deep seeded the violent message is in most understanding of Christianity.

*David, thank you for this information. How do we contact James Poling? Can you tell us anything more about his treatment model? We'd love to know. We need so much more work done within the religious communities.


This is a note from me (Janet) after my visit to a Silent Witness event in Minneapolis a week ago. I am so inspired. I attended a gathering at the Mall of America (Macy's Court) sponsored by the Jr. League of St. Paul and Alpha Chi Omega, a sorority on three campuses in MN/ND. In addition to the wonderful Jr. League committee, about 75 young sorority women were there and appeared to be mesmerized by the whole event and their involvement in it. The organizers brought the original Silent Witnesses, a new set of Witnesses, and a set of Native American Witnesses with beaded head dresses. Hundreds of people walked through the exhibit or looked down on it from the two upper galleries of the Mall.

The event was kicked off by Native American drummers drumming prayers of remembrance for all the women who have been murdered. A two hour program included a police officer from the DV unit, women's advocates, child safety center workers, shelter staff, treatment providers, survivors and victim's families representing Asian, Native American, African American and Caucasian communities. One 22 year-old woman told the story of her mother who was murdered last fall. She said she and her mother had not made up their differences after some difficulties between them she detailed how hard that was for her. She urged all the young women in the audience to try to talk with their mothers, even if they were still trying to be independent of them. There was not a dry eye in the house.

I was so proud of everyone involved with this event. Thanks to the JR. League and to Alpha Chi Omega. And it was good to see the original Witnesses again. They all feel like they are my friends. And I found out that the Jr. League is very likely to start a program within the St. Paul school system using Rosalind Wiseman's Owning Up program. More details to follow.


Jerri Miller writes about their training program in Self Mastery and Court Watch:

The second edition of the Self-Mastery Workshop will be held in Billings, MT on May 8 and 9 at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. RoseMary Boerboom, who developed the treatment program, with her sidekick, Susan Brown, will present the program. MTSWI has worked with the Montana Department of Health & Human Services to obtain 14 hours of Continuing Education Credits for the program which is being offered free to all attendees. MTSWI was fortunate to receive a grant from the Montana Board of Crime Control to not only offer the Self-Mastery Workshop twice but to also develop a Court Watch program directed toward the smaller communities in the state. The Court Watch program is now complete and will receive it's debut at a Crime Victim's Services Fair this coming Friday, 4/19. Floppy disks and CD's will be made available free of charge to anyone who would like them.

Anyone who is interested in attending the Self-Mastery workshop should contact Jerri Miller at 406-222-8901. If you've never had the pleasure of attending a Rose Mary workshop, you are really missing something great. Rose Mary is informative, knows her stuff and has such a wonderfully fun and relaxing way of presenting her material that every single survey received back has raved about her. And the addition of Susan has been superb as they play off each other so well.

*Thanks, Jerri. These trainings have been so well attended. We will be seeing a lot of healing in Montana really soon.

New York:

This note from Maureen Wopperer of the Jr. League of Syracuse. They are sprucing up the Silent Witness exhibit there and developing a separate way of honoring survivors.

We have decided to update the original SW exhibit with the red figures etc. We will also continue to develop a way to honor survivors. There will be a survivor conference here in Syracuse this fall and we hope to collect much information. Meanwhile, we have worked out the delivery and set up of SW and will have the exhibit made by a design firm. Our banner will have the National SW logo with a tag line and a statistic. We have a brochure with additional information and resources as well. Thanks you for your efforts with this issue. I'll send you a brochure when it is finished.

*Thanks for this update Maureen. The best to you. And let us know what you do for survivors. Other states may like to do something like it.


Jo Manson, Zonta member and one of our SW coordinators in Virginia writes: I have some good news. We have made two more Silent Witnesses for our club and they will be used at the upcoming "Luminary of Light" event in April. CASA Fairfax asked us to support this event and we will provide volunteers, display our figures, and have a table top display. They look great! I will try to send you a photo.

*Thanks Jo, for this good work. We'll enjoy those photos.



Amnesty International has received reports of widows badly beaten or raped by brothers-in-law who inherited the women as property. It appears that spousal rape and wife inheritance leading to forced marriage are not recognized as crimes in Kenya." If you feel the urge, write Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako asking him to press the Kenyan government to publicly condemn all acts of violence against women, whoever commits them. Ask him to ensure the prompt and impartial investigation of all allegations of violence against women. Urge him to reaffirm his stated assertion that "rape desks" or "gender desks" would be established in police stations. Write to: Mr. Amos Wako/Attorney General/Office of the Attorney General/State Law Office/Harambee Avenue, PO Box 40112/Nairobi, Kenya. " Amnesty states the following concerning writing letters "The following actions give you an opportunity to become directly involved in Amnesty International's ongoing work. Please be sure to write appeals on these cases within a month after receiving this information. All letters should be courteous, accurately specifying the facts of each case. If anyone is interested in contacting Amnesty, their main number is 1-800-AMNESTY/AIUSA Web Site www.amnestyusa.org. Pamela B. Martin

Save the date for the 7th Annual International Conference on Family Violence: September 24-28, 2002, San Diego, CA

Sponsored by the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Institute, the Children's Institute International and Alliant International University.

Conference title: Working Together to End Abuse Advocacy, Assessment, Intervention, Research, Prevention, & Policy
Town & Country Hotel & Resort, San Diego, California. Program and Registration will be available in June; see www.fvsai.org. Continuing Education Credits available for most professions! Cost Effective, Multidisciplinary, 1500 attendees, discounts available.

 For more Information: Lisa Conradi, Conference Co-Coordinator 6160 Cornerstone Court East, San Diego, CA 92121 (858) 623-2777 ext. 427 Fax (858) 646-0761 E-mail: fvconf@alliant.edu Web Site: www.fvsai.org

National Crime Prevention Council Features Silent Witness Activists:

The National Crime Prevention Council is highlighting college DV prevention programs in an upcoming issue. They are planning to focus on our Silent Witness activists in Rhode Island since they have succeeded in getting Silent Witness into all the colleges in the state. Nice going, Melanie Martin and Nancy Rafi. We'll let you know how to get copies of this publication when it comes out.

A Special Thank You:

I would like to thank Kathryn Boyne of the law firm Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly for doing some very helpful pro bono work for Silent Witness recently. She has worked with us for several years and we really appreciate her time and wise counsel. She believes strongly in what we are doing and she even followed our activities closely when she was living in Belgium for a few years. Thanks for your great work, Kathryn.

I leave you today with a quote from Arthur Lenehan: "Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is."

Yes, yes, yes!!





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