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May 01  Newsletter


Dear Friends,

Happy happy spring. And best wishes to those of you celebrating Easter or
Passover this week. I hope things are really blooming where you live and
that you are feeling the energy from all the newness of nature at this time
of year. It is a time of fresh life and of renewed hope: Eternal Spring, we
welcome you.

I hope all is well with you. I just returned from my first state Silent
Witness trip to Wyoming. It was great (and I got to see more snow!). My
hostesses were wonderful and I think we generated enthusiasm for starting
more Results programs in that great state. More on that trip below.


Welcome new email correspondents: lots and lots this newsletter!!
Christina Walsh (Nat. Training Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence,
Austin, Tx), Susan Lob, Mel Kearney (RN, Hospital of the Univ. of
Pennsylvania), Sarah Perrine, (Wyoming Coalition Against DV/SA, Laramie), Linda Squillace (DV response team coordinator, New Jersey), Rita Guthrie (Coordinator of Tom Green Crisis Intervention Unit, San Angelo, Texas), Libbey Meister (Abuse Intervention, Madison, WI), Michele Decker (Researcher, Adolescent Medicine, Univ. of Rochester, NY), Pauline Quirion (Greater Boston Legal Services), Betty King (advocate, St. Paul, MN), Gwenyth Stanley , Elaine Hart (Warren Air Force Base, Cheyenne), Pam Martin, Victoria Gamber (attended Wyoming planning session), LIndi Kirkbride (League of Women Voters, WY), Rodger Mc Daniel (clergy, drug court originator, WY), Paula Fisher (YWCA Support/Safe House, Rock Springs, WY), Lee Ann Stephenson (Victim Services, WY), Paula Wheeler (Prevent Child Abuse, WY), Dan and Mary Monson (WY Church Coalition), Mary Ann Cassell (Jr. League, SW Chair, Los Angeles), Dave Nybakke (business owner, DV task force leader, BLoomington, IL)

 

NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:

ARIZONA:

Many of you remember John and Diane Peterson who spoke at the march and who I have mentioned in several newsletters over the past year. John and Diane coordinate the Arizona exhibit in Tucson. More than a year ago John found out he had lung cancer and went through aggressive chemotherapy treatment. Several of you wrote him emails of encouragement and they meant the world to him.

Over the last year or so John's cancer and the treatments have taken such a
toll on him that now he is only expected to live a short time. Please keep Diane and John and their grown children in your thoughts and prayers. John has said several times that his work with Silent Witness is one of the most important things that he has done in his life. We are deeply grateful to him and we will always remember his warmth and his dedication. Both John and Diane spoke at the March in Washington. As he spoke courageously about his own recovery from being an abusive husband Diane stood holding his hand. Many of you mentioned that it was one of the most meaningful moments at the march. If you would like to thank John or send him a word of love or gratitude please do so. His email is jdpetazsw@aol.com    It stands for John/Diane Peterson, Arizona, Silent Witness



CALIFORNIA:

  A great word from the Los Angelos JR.League. Several of their new board
members were the coordinators who took their Silent Witness exhibit to
Washington. Congratulations to these leaders who we knew all along were go getters:  M'Leigh Koziol - President, Valerie Real - Vice President
Lucia Nordstrom - Public Policy Director, Joanne Coghill - Projects
Director, Beth Thomas - AJLI Area Director, Bonnie Wong, SPAC delegate to state Public Affairs Committee. The new Silent Witness chair is Mary Ann
Cassell.

And here is their report on the latest "Refuse To Abuse" School Assembly:

Junior League of Los Angeles presented the 3rd Domestic Violence Silent
Witness Assembly "Refuse To Abuse" at Venice High School to over 950
students and faculty members.

The hour long assembly held on Thursday, April 13th was moderated by Beth Quillen Thomas, Member of Board of Association of Junior Leagues
International and Past-President of Junior League of Los Angeles.The
assembly began with the Silent Witness Candlelight Vigil, including stories
of victims under the age of 18 years old.  Amy-Hannah Broesma, Deputy
District Attorney, Family Violence Division from the Los Angeles City
District Attorney's office spoke on Statistics and Issues of Domestic
Violence.  Willie Taylor, Community Director from 1736 Crisis Center spoke
on the role of the Victim, Medical Intervention and Function of Shelter
Services.

The following collaborations also participated with handouts, displays
(books, artwork, photographs, quilts) and were available to answer any
questions:


     * Vera Anderson, photographer and author of "A Woman Like You"
     * Violet Ochoa and Christine Natividad, Los Angeles City Attorney's
        Office, Victim Advocates Division
     * Kitty Glass, Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles
     * Liz Kelly, Soujourn, Domestic Violence Shelter
     * Dolores Sanico, Window Between Worlds
     * Willie Taylor and counselors, 1736 Crisis Center
     * Representatives from Los Angeles Commission
       on Assaults Against Women

The Silent Witness Murder Meter caught the attention of the Los Angeles City Attorney's office as well as all those who attended and participated.
Amy-Hannah Broesma, the Deputy District Attorney was very impressed with the impact the "Murder Meter" displayed comparing the National, California state and Los Angeles stats.

Kudos to Bonnie Wong, the Silent Witness committee and all those who made this a successful assembly.  These assemblies DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE and MAY SAVE A LIFE.


*Absolutely great work, Los Angeles. These school programs are amazing.
Thanks for all the really hard work that went into this and keep up that
stunning leadership. Did you all notice that the new murder meter caught the
attention of the crowd!!



Hungary:

Our friends in Hungary are asking for our help in the following case.Their
email address is evetke@galamb.net if you would like to get a copy of a
sample letter to send as they have requested.

I am writing from NANE (for those, who do not know us: NANE [Women together With Women Against Violence]; a Hungarian non-profit org. for women's rights). Among other things, we operate a hotline for women and children, surviviors of domestic or sexual violence. The following is the description of a case we are undertaking together with another NGO, Habeas Corpus Working Group The following summary was compiled by HCM:

Terror and Helplessness - Authorities ignore child rape

A 30-year-old woman living in a small town contacted NANE's hotline for
battered women and children on 17 March 2000; they recommended that she contact the NGO 'Habeas Corpus Working Group' (HCM), too. The father committed various violent crimes against his own pre-school children, which are explained in detail in the form letter below. (He also raped the woman many times, and rather violently, during their marriage. However, she -- characteristically for the Hungarian situation -- did not press charges for this, therefore these incidents are not contained in the sample letter.)

After the mother asked for help from NANE and HCM, I met her in person on 22 March. That day she and myself went to the complaints office of the Chief Public Prosecutor. (Under Hungarian law, investigation is supervised by the public prosecutor.) On the advise of the officer, the mother contacted the county public prosecutor by fax the same day asking for the preliminary
detention of the suspects and for the investigation to be conferred to the
public prosecutor of another county. I made similar further recommendations to the Chief Public Prosecutor.

I myself read the report she filed with the police on 22 March, and saw some
of the drawings by the children, which are direct representations of the
terror they went through.

We are asking you to express your opinion on the case to the Hungarian Chief Public Prosecutor, Kálmán Györgyi (address: 1055 Budapest, Markó utca. 16, phone: +36-1-2692912, fax: +36-1-2692862).

Thank you very much for support,Géza Juhász, Spokesperson HCM

*We are so glad that we can support our sisters around the world whose
systems are not working well for women. May we all see the healing that
comes from reaching out to each other.



MINNESOTA:

Betty King would like our help and involvement in solving two murders. A
woman and a young boy were found beheaded near Rochester, MN last November and no one had identified them or listed them as missing. They may be from another state so she is wondering if any of you know of these two missing persons. The two appear to be either African American or Latino. The finger prints are unavailable due to exposure. The woman has a ring on and there are some of the boy's clothing still available.

A group in MN is planning a vigil for the woman and boy on Mother's Day, May 14th at the Martin Luther King Center in St.Paul,270 Kent St. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Sen. Paul Wellstone will attend that vigil. The group is also planning a
vigil/funeral at the site on June 24th at 12:00 and then they will drive to
the state Capitol in a procession at 3:00.

The Sheriff of Olmsted county has a web site describing this double murder.
www.olmstedcounty.com/sheriff//homicide.htm (double murder) For further
information on the events contact Betty King sisterandsondoe@hotmail.com or cell 651-398-5814

*Betty, thank you and all the organizers for remembering this woman and her son. We will honor her memory and perhaps someone on the committee will make Silent Witness for them.



RHODE ISLAND:

Lots of ongoing activity in RI. Nancy and Melanie are at it again. Here's a
summary from both of them. First Nancy:

We'll be on the campus of Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI on Monday evening, doing a Take Back the Night march and presentation with the Witnesses. Their bell tower will sound with a gong every 15 seconds to
represent a woman being battered, every 4 minutes with a whistle for a woman being raped, and every 6 hours for a woman being murdered - for the entire day while students are on campus.  Brochures will be passed out early in the AM to all students so that they know what the sounds represent.

On Tuesday AM, Melanie and I will be meeting in Wakefield, RI with a
representative of the AG's office, the RICADV, and a local activist to talk
about Hate Crime legislation and how it effects domestic violence homicides.

Then on Thursday, our Witnesses will be seen at the Rhode Island Mall in
Warwick, RI from 12-8PM, along with other agencies in honor of Victims'
Rights Week.  This will be our first time being at a mall, so we're gearing
up for the reaction that will be stirred up.

By the way, the story about my company getting the $2000 grant from the Make A Difference Day project back in October 1999 will be in the Sunday edition of USAWeekend - also on the web at www.makeadifferenceday.com  There will be a local splash in our Newport, RI paper about my company's involvment with volunteerism and dealing with domestic violence.


Here's Melanie, with a powerful summary and personal note:

Just wanted to keep you up to date with SW in RI.  Last week we attended a
Take Back the Night March on the campus of Roger Williams College.  I have been to many marches but I can not find words to describe this experience. Awesome and empowering do not even cut it.  After the march, we went inside because it was cold.  They set up a microphone and asked people to share poetry, stories, etc...  Quite a few young ladies got up and shared their experiences of abuse.  Many of these stories were shared for the first time. It not only takes courage and strength for someone to share their story but these ladies shared in front of 40 or so people.  I was so honored to be a part of that.  Every one of those women should be proud of who they are and that they have come so far at such a young age.  I could go on and on about that night because I want everyone to feel a part of that experience but I won't because this email would be ten pages!!

Nancy Rafi and I also had the witnesses at the Warwick Mall last Thursday,
April 13.  It was victim of crime week and different organizations had
displays in the mall.  The Witnesses got quite a reaction.  It was very
interesting to see people react.  I have never been with the Witnesses other
than at a domestic violence event.  The red figures being in the mall drew
attention and at first people didn't know what or who they were.  As they
read the stories and figured things out they reacted.  Some people were
horrified and disgusted, some held onto them while they read their story,
and some people cried because they knew them.  In a different way than the march, that experience was unforgettable too.  I love working with Silent
Witness!!!

*Isn't it just great to see all this dedication and to see the results that
come from it. Thanks so much you two.


WYOMING:

Report on my trip to Wyoming: Janet Hagberg.

I'm so thrilled by my first trip to a state on behalf of the new Silent
Witness push for Results Projects. I had such a good time and my hostesses Nancy Dawson and Lindi Kirkbride couldn't have been better. A quick summary:

First LIndi lined up six, yes SIX media contacts, three radio interviews,
two TV interviews and one lengthy newspaper article (front page, Cheyenne
paper). So the word got out very far even for those who did not attend the
meetings.

The first meeting was for the Silent Witness task force in Cheyenne and for
interested citizens. I showed the new slide presentation that General Mills
made for us and each person talked about the ways in which Silent Witness
has been important to them.  Then we spent time generating goals for moving forward on various projects. We tried to make the goals measurable and action oriented. Those in attendance represented military, League of Women Voters, clergy, police, district attorney, coalition, state victim services, shelters, parent of victim, child abuse task force and press.

The second meeting was three hours away (with a snow storm thrown in for
fun) in Casper. It was the meeting of the Wyoming League of Women Voters. This was a group of go getters and they got really excited about the
programs although we had less time for strategic planning. We're looking for
some exciting ventures to emerge from that meeting by all the plotting that
was going on at the end of the session.
The measurable goals for the next 18 months that came out of these meetings were these: Track prosecutions and conviction rates in Cheyenne, get 10% of the Cheyenne churches to run anger regulation workshops in their congregations, begin using the Owning UP program for high school youth in these churches, use the Stosny treatment model for groups in the county jail, get 25 people ready to teach statewide in the Stosny treatment model (five in Cheyenne), increase police calls in Rock Springs to show that women are using and trusting the services more, establish statewide policy for effective coordination between child protection and domestic abuse offices, work for mandatory counseling for children who witness domestic violence, put a rape awarenss book in the hands of all 7th graders and teach Owning UP in one school, and get the court watch program that has been funded up and running.

I am very grateful for all the energy, ideas, and commitment that came from
these meetings. There are some really action oriented people in Wyoming and we bumped several of them. We'll look forward to the next several months and keep you informed on what happens.

 

NEWS FROM NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS:

Orders for the Murder Meter Design: the first states:

 These are the first nine states to order the murder meter designs: the
early adopters. Give a round of applause to California, Connecticut,
Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio (two different cities), Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, and Washington. By the way the woman pictured on the photo that I send with the designs is Joanne Coghill, the woman who designed the murder meter, from the Jr. League of Los Angeles. Thanks again, Joanne.  How about sixteen more states ordering these plans so you can have your murder meters in time for the October events. You can show everyone graphically and artistically how well your state and the nation are doing in reducing the domestic homicide rates for women.


Corporate Response to Workplace Violence

This note from a corporate activist, Dave Fish    dfish@icubed.com Pandion
Electronics, Inc.

We wanted to up-date you with our progress.  We have:Written, approved, and posted our DV policy that will be included in our policy manual in the next revision cycle. Posted national and local DV counseling hot line numbers in rest rooms.Notified employees of the policy and our plan that includes:

1. Scheduling a "Friday afternoon" training from one the local DV hot line
groups in the next 6 months.
2. Making available a printed copy of a US Office of Personnel Management
on-line document on DV.
3. Making available a supervisor training document based on a report from
Family Violence Prevention Fund.
4. Making available a personal safety plan outline based on a plan from
Corporate Alliance To End Partner Violence and one included in  the US
Office of Personnel Management on-line document.
5. Handing-out brochures from Liz Claiborne and Pennsylvania Coalition
AgainstDomestic Violence.

We have building security and a "no unescorted visitors" policy, but we're
not kidding anyone.  If someone wants to get in, they will get in to our
work space.  Limitations: the physical layout of the facility leaves limited
options to improve security.  So, we need to think more about training on
responding to confrontation situations and the like for in-plant people and
parking-lot escorts.

We are mulling position statements on what to do if an employee requests us to screen mail, phone calls, etc. from batterers and how we might tighten
security to look for an individual.




I leave you today with a quote we all need to remember.

"Normal is just a setting on your washing machine."

Cheers,

Janet

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