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May 26, 2006

Dear Friends,

            I hope all is well! I have been getting a lot of emails about people preparing for October displays. It is so exciting to hear how the word is getting out. Below in Pennsylvania's section you will find a wonderful and enlightening story from our Pennsylvania Coordinator Heidi Markow. She has been working so hard to get a display started and word out to her state about the Silent Witness Project. She has done such a great job and deserves to be recognized for all her hard work!

            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:



Fort Dix



































































New Mexico








Here are the newest coordinators:

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.



FromAnne Warmke:

Just a quick note about Shelia's Shawls:  A lovely soul sent me the most beautiful sky blue and teal colored light-weight shawl for a friend who was attacked and almost killed over 28 years ago.  She has spent those years still rooted in the terror of what happened to her, and developed some serious health issues that have defined her life, and kept a prisoner in the environment she has created for herself.  Over a year ago she decided to reach outside of that environment to connect with me - not sure why, but she did.  We became friends by trying to work around her limitations.  When I gave her the shawl for her birthday I was really scared that she would be
offended.  I created a card telling the story of Shelia Wellstone and the Shelia's Shawls Project.  She read the card quietly.  As she ran her hands across the knitted garment she looked up at me with the most amazing smile which made me think that the healing was already taking place.  She immediately placed the shawl around her shoulders and over the top of her
head - looking like an angel with her face framed by the shawl.  Since that day she has taken some amazing steps to work on her health issues, and somehow I feel the shawl gave her permission.  Many thanks to the guardian angel that volunteered her time, and healing energy to make the shawl.


From Heidi Markow :

This is another news broadcast that aired today. I am so proud of all the media coverage this has gotten. I was just informed today that it went international and national on CNN yesterday. I cant wait until they are finished I will send you all the pictures. I am so proud that my sister will still live on through the silent witness program. Thank you so much Heidi Markow.

Learning From Domestic Violence

 Liz Keptner

(CBS 3) NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PA It is truly an educational experience for some local students as they're taking on the issue of domestic violence in a school project but they're also learning the victim's stories. Lehigh Valley Reporter Liz Keptner reports on the story.

It is not your normal school project these students are working on at the Career Institute of Technology in Northampton County.

"They typically build houses, so they're using the skills but there is meaning here," said Ron Roth, Director at Career Institute Technology

"When I first read about it, I was shocked; heartbreaking it could happen," said 12th grader, Robert Lockman.

They are building 20 silent witness figures and when they are finished, each cut-out will have the name, date of death and personal story of a local woman killed by domestic violence.

This is a project spearheaded by the Beginning Over Foundation's Heidi Markow.

"It actually helps them through the grieving process too, I'm finding that having my sister traveling throughout the state, with people reading her story, part of her is still alive," said Markow.

Markow's sister Robin Shaffer was killed by her estranged husband last June.

"Instead of cuddling up and being depressed, she's moving forward with all this," said Heidi's husband, Iggy.

Also, she's getting kids involved, each student learns their victim's story, and will talk about their figure at a school assembly this fall. The figures will then become part of a traveling exhibit.

"I am doing Gina Marie, when she was 26, she was victim of domestic violence, her husband killed her and her 2 kids," said 12th grader, Trevor Martin.

CBS 3 was told it will take another month until these figures are finished and then you'll start seeing them pop up in malls, libraries and parks across the state.

"I really enjoyed this, a lot better than anything I've done here," said Martin.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Students Find Way to Promote Domestic Violence Awareness

Story posted on  2006-05-10 18:35:00  

It's a lesson plan that's definitely outside the box, and students at one Lehigh Valley school won't soon forget it. Students are using their woodworking skills to remember the victims of domestic violence in a one-of-a-kind way.
WFMZ's Mike Lowe reports on a memorial called "silent witnesses."

This wood shop class at the Career Institute of Technology is getting a lesson in something other than carpentry.
(14:06) "They're learning and they're being educated on intimate partner violence, dating violence at the same time they're making these figures to honor women who lost their lives."
They're making "Silent Witnesses" -- wooden silhouettes of women who have been murdered in acts of domestic violence.
Victim's advocate Heidi Markow brought the idea to the school after her sister was killed last June.
17-year-old student Robert Lockman is making a figure that will honor the memory of Heidi's sister.
(14:32) "I walked in and he was the first one to like grab the board."
(NAT: some awesome natural sound)
(14:42) "I said I would be honored if you would learn my sister's personal story, get to know her and complete a silent witness figure in her honor."
(9:15) "She told me that after I cut it out and I'm like, 'wow.' I was shocked. (BUTT) I but my utmost effort into all of it."
A plaque affixed to the chest of the figure will tell her story.
(8:23) "Her name was Robin D Schaffer."
(NAT: Buzz saw)
(8:26) "It was 11 days from her 44th birthday."
(NAT: Sand paper)
(8:29) "When her estranged husband fatally shot her in the neck."
(NAT: Screws)
(8:36) "Robin bled to death as she waited for help to arrive."
18-year-old John Goffredo is working on the figure of a mother of two, who was killed by her husband.
He says the "silent witness" project has made real the issue of domestic violence.
(10:30) "No other project we ever had to work on really ever meant anything -- it was just 'building.' But this is actually pretty cool because it's for someone else, too."
When the figures are completed, they'll travel around the state as an exhibit to honor the women who can no longer speak for themselves.
In Forks Township, Mike Lowe 69 News.

World NEWS:

From Ben Atherton-Zeman:

31st National Conference on Men and Masculinity
Creating Connections for Gender Justice
and the 18th Annual Men's Studies Association Meeting


The conference on Men & Masculinity is for activists, academics, workers in mental health, diversity, faith communities, domestic and sexual violence. It is for anyone interested in gathering, organizing and working to end all forms of oppression and injustice and to celebrate choice, alternatives, and possibilities.

August 3-6, 2006 at the Ramapo College of New Jersey
Opens: Thurs., Aug. 3rd at 7:00pm
Closes: Sun., Aug. 6th at 3:00pm
Registration fee, includes 5 meals, $195: Students/Seniors, $100
Single Day, Fri/Sat only, $100; Students/Seniors, $ 50
Housing fee, double occupancy, $34 per night
Scholarships available upon request.

Co-Presented by:
Ramapo College Women's Center
Rockland Family Shelter & Stop F.E.A.R. Coalition/DELTA Project
Up the River Endeavors

From the CAPEV update:


Domestic violence has impacted about 44% of women at some point during their adult lives, according to a recently published survey.

Considerably fewer women, about 15%, reported domestic violence within the past five years, and that figure fell to about 8% for incidents in the past year, reported Robert S. Thompson, M.D., of the Group Health Center for Health Studies here in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.   The study analyzed data from telephone interviews of more than 3,500 women enrolled in the Group Health Cooperative (GHC), a large non-profit health maintenance organization serving Washington State and northern Idaho.

"The findings are important in helping to establish that the prevalence is very high in educated, employed U.S . women with healthcare coverage, which indicates that intimate partner violence is a problem for the entire population, not just certain subgroups ," Dr. Thompson and colleagues said.  (Emphasis CAEPV)

The study distinguished between physical abuse, which included hitting, shoving, or forced sex, and non-physical abuse, such as angry threats. About 34% of women reported any type of physical abuse during their lifetime, and about 35% reported any type of non-physical abuse. About 11% reported forced sex at some time during their life.  The study also found that about half (45%) of abused women suffered more than one type of abuse.

Another study in the same issue of the journal emphasized the negative health consequences of domestic violence. Compared with women who had never experienced domestic violence, those who had suffered any type were nearly three times more likely to report symptoms of severe depression (odds ratio= 2.6; 95% confidence interval=1.9 to 3.6), according to Amy Bonomi, Ph.D., also of the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle.  And women who had experienced recent physical or sexual violence were about three times more likely to report being in only fair or poor health (OR= 2.81; 95% CI=1.54 to 5.13), Dr. Bonomi and colleagues found. 

(Source:  MedPage Today)


The images are startling and that's the point. A woman, her left cheek bruised, has the following message dripping out of her nose like a stream of blood: "38% of battered women will be victimized again within six months."  Another shows a young girl with two massive welts on her back. "Last year, 1 in 12 high school students were beaten by a person they were dating," is printed boldly inside one of the bruises.

New York City unveiled a new public service advertising campaign designed to encourage victims of domestic violence to get help. "Last year, domestic violence was responsible for nearly one out of every eight homicides in our city," Mayor Bloomberg said on May 18. "What's just as disturbing is that almost none of these victims ever called the city's domestic violence hotline," Bloomberg said at a City Hall press conference with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and Yolanda Jimenez, commissioner of the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, along with playwright and activist Eve Ensler.

The ads, which urge victims or loved ones to call 311, will appear in English and Spanish on subways, buses and other sites around the city. Postcard-sized copies will be distributed at nail salons. Ensler, author of the "Vagina Monologues," also helped put together a two-week program - funded with private dollars - to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.

"Until The Violence Stops: NYC," which will run from June 12-27, will feature musical and theatrical performances, and celebrities will include Jane Fonda, Rosie O'Donnell, Kathy Bates and Diane Lane. One of the theatrical events will benefit the city's Family Justice Center in Brooklyn.

According to the city, police officers handle 600 domestic violence-related calls each day. Most of the victims killed in domestic violence incidents had no order of protection and had not previously contacted police.   (Source:  New York Daily News)

 Make a difference J


Cassie Pritchard




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