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May 2, 2003

Dear Friends,
It felt to me like many people in the world were holding their collective
breath during the last six weeks or so. Now I'm sensing a quickening of people's spirits and more activity. There is so much good will within our Silent Witness network and it feels awesome to me when I put together each newsletter, just to read what you all are doing. And thanks to those of you who tell me how you use the newsletter and how much it means to you. One woman told me she takes every issue to a task force at a college in her town and they decide which ideas they could use in their area. Bless you.

The shawls, scarves, quilts projects are starting to sweep the nation. We are on to something very moving and deep here and I am grateful to all those of you who are knitting them, delivering them, promoting the program, honoring families, healing loved ones. Thank you all.

WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:
Marsha Johnson (a woman crocheting shawls), Lilibeth (starting a DV
organization in Lawrence, MA), Michelle Sagan (Student activist, part of Women Will, Providence College, RI), Hiroko Nasu Okumura (SW contact, Kyoto Women's Center, Japan, new email address), Teresa Khorrami (New SW exhibit, Onalaska, TX), Kathy Anderson, Mary Theodore (Maryville, MO), Pam Colbert (Ohio, new email address)

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 receive a 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 you one. 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 for 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. To request a quilt for a kid contact Augusta Rodgers quiltsforkids@hotmail.com


To send a quilt for a kid, please send to
Augusta Rodgers
Quilts for Kids
c/o Women's Resource Center
77 East 5th Street
Winona, MN 55987

NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:

California:
My name is Kendra Arimoto and I am a senior at Stanford University. In February, just a few months ago, my student organization and I coordinated a silent witness exhibit that consisted of 20 silhouettes for the University. This was in conjunction with V-Week, a week of events, programs, panels, art shows, etc that were meant to provide awareness and education about issues relating to violence against women and girls. The SW exhibit in particular had a huge impact on the student body. It even made the front page or our Stanford Daily and became the center of many student discussions.

*Kendra, you did a great job of bringing awareness and resources to your campus. I can't wait to see what you'll do once you are in the work force! Keep in touch with us. We love it.

Maryland:
Maryland Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Mary Ann Saar has presented Patricia Lupson an award in honor of her tireless victims' rights work. Mrs. Lupson received the honor during Maryland¹s kickoff of National Victims¹ Rights Week ­ April 6-13, 2003. Secretary Saar spoke of Mrs. Lupson¹s efforts before a large audience in the Mondawmin Mall Community Room in Baltimore, where the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation hosted the special victims¹ rights event. "On behalf of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, I am happy to honor you for your commitment and compassion as a victims' rights advocate," said Secretary Saar. "Patricia Lupson lost three loved ones to
murder. Now, her life is dedicated to helping other victims learn their
rights and cope with grief."

Mrs. Lupson¹s courageous fight for victims began when she herself became a victim in the most terrible way: in June of 1993, her daughter and two grandchildren died in an arson-homicide in Pennsylvania. Since then, Mrs. Lupson has devoted countless hours to helping other victims, and speaking to offenders in prisons in Maryland and in other states.

*Great work, Pat. You just keep on going and going and going. Your story is so powerful and we are proud of the work you do in the community.

Also from Maryland:
Our friends, Rosemary Raiman and Fern Brown hosted an event with the East Coast Motorcycle Association in an effort to raise awareness of DV and raise funds as well. I think working with motorcycle clubs is a great idea and will be excited to hear how it turned out. Thanks, you two for all this hard work.

Massachusetts:
Nancy Carolyn Kwant sends us their update.

The MA Silent Witnesses have been displayed throughout three buildings at the Upham's Corner Health Center in Dorchester. They even translated some of the plates into Spanish, which we are going to have a volunteer continue with, so that the breastplates will be available in both languages. They were also a part of an Anti-Hate Week at Newbury College. The students there are also giving a few figures a new coat of paint as part of a major volunteer week at the college. The Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance recently had its statewide conference 27 figures were displayed throughout the conference center. As I was loading them back into my Jeep,
I heard one lady remark, "Now that was really powerful-to read all those stories...." The children figures seems to really make people stop and take a moment. The Essex County Exhibit was featured at the Square One Mall in Saugus and we hope to have them displayed at two major walks that support two Essex County domestic violence agencies at the end of April. One is the Walk for HAWC (Help for Abused Women and Their Children) and the other is for the Women's Crisis Center of Newburyport. So far, Massachusetts has had seven deaths this year. Peace at Home is also hosting an event in May entitled Peaceful Beginnings, where the figures will also be displayed. Peace at Home is going to Prague for the World Conference on Family Violence and I look forward to meeting our collaborators in Hungary as Janet has told me they might be there presenting.

*Carolyn, you are effecting so many people with these new locations for the SW exhibit. Getting the college students to paint them is wonderful too, so they get to see the stories. Nice work. I'll be excited to hear about the Prague conference.

Minnesota:
Nate Russell, a project coordinator for Family and Children's Service, is heading up 100 Men Take A Stand. This program allows black men to break the silence in order to take a stand against domestic violence. At a gathering in March, more than 100 black men listened as their peers told stories of how their lives had been effected by domestic violence. They signed a six-point pledge that called for men to do everything from challenging abusive behaviors they see, to providing young people with the resources and encouragement to form violence-free relationships.

One man told of being separated from his family at a young age because of DV. He said that everybody has some kind of experience with it and he considers it important to speak out on this issue--an issue that many people consider taboo. Another man said DV had touched the lives of both his family and close friends and that he felt powerless to do anything to stop the abuse. One man told of being violent with his wife, a behavior he saw all too often in his childhood. He said he was forced to unlearn some of the messages he received as a child and that by sharing his story and taking the pledge that evening, he was taking a important step forward. To learn more
or get a program going in your state contact Nate Russell.
n.russell@famchildserv.org

*This is one of the most powerful things I have seen lately for men.
Allowing them to tell their stories of childhood lets them share in the pain of DV and is part of their healing process. Nice going Nate.

Missouri:
An update on the Silent Witness Display in the Grandview Mid-Continent Library last week...
Excellent response from the local police departments and Library visitors. There is a sense of community developing as a result of just this single event. I talk to so many people who feel some sense of isolation, as though they are just one person and can't make a difference. This provided a forum for both the community and DV professionals to contribute and we are continuing to work on scheduling the Silent Witness around the area.

We provided comment cards, one I'll share because it was so poignant "I wish I could do something, but I'm only 16 and no job or money" This girl did include a name and telephone number so we'll get her involved somehow. One other I share because it validates our efforts, "So sad to hear their stories. Thanks for telling them. If I have a chance to intervene, this will help make the decision" Also, thanks to all of you who responded to my requests for book titles -- your help is greatly appreciated ! Jody Carroll

When I ran Jody's story in the last newsletter, I forgot to list her email.
Here it is: jcarroll@fc2inc.com 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 (Kids and adults) was organized as well .. though we are short on Kids titles, if anyone knows some good ones, that would be really helpful! We've also set up specific times for a wide variety of DV professionals to be available in the library for questions or discussion generated from those who see the Silent Witness silhouettes (attorney, clergy, advocates, friends and family of DV victims, "success stories" etc).

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