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May 31, 2002

Dear Friends,

Every once in a while someone who receives this newsletter sends back a note to say that they are awed and inspired by all the things that are happening all over the world and they love being part of this collaborative network--or words to that effect.  These notes not only warm my heart, but they remind me of what Silent Witness is all about--you doing the great work of being the healers of the world. Believe it. And cheer.


Willy Greenbaum wrote us this note about his men's group that is helping Peace at Home in Mass:

We have been asked by Peace at Home Inc. in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts to build some Silent Witness figures for them. We are part of a grass roots men's organization opposing men's violence against women in the city of Gloucester, Massachusetts. We have just completed an 11 minute video called Breaking Our Silence: Gloucester Men Speak Out Against Domestic Abuse which you might enjoy seeing. I would be glad to send a copy.

*Thanks, Willy and friends, for all this help. We really appreciate it and we welcome men who want to work with us. And thanks for sending me the video. I'll look forward to it.

A Fatality Review team in Hennepin County (Mpls) recently issued their report. They studied nine domestic homicide cases. The project has lead to several changes in the Hennepin County attorney's office, including seeking longer sentences for repeat domestic violence offenders. Also the Mpls City attorney's office has worked to find an attorney at the Police Department to handle DV cases. An emergency room physician was quoted as saying that she now understands why her medical evaluation is so important and why it is crucial to accurately assess the damage. Police now try to treat each domestic call as they would a homicide. Detectives work night shifts and carry cameras.

*Thanks to Jaqueline Hauser who chaired this effort. She was the originator of Mpls' Court WATCH program.

Pat Davenport, of Our House, one of the SW Results projects, writes this news from Greenville:
Our youth program is growing, we have several different groups.  Recently, one of our youth groups  (whose members have had a homicide in their family) created and produced a skit about recovering after losing a loved one.  They performed the skit for the state-wide conference, "Putting Victims First" in Tunica MS, May 9, 2002.  We continue to implement programs that will reduce the violence in the homes by involving youth and ministers.

*Thank you Pat and company, for all the work you've done to reduce violence among youth and for all your success with that program.
You are inspirations for us all.


We got a note from Jerri Miller saying that Rose Mary (and Susan's) workshop on Self Mastery went very well. The evaluations were superb.  The program and the Silent Witness exhibit made the front page of the Billings Gazette. We'll be excited to see the results of this great training for perpetrator treatment. Thanks Jerri for the update.

New Mexico:

The New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence presents 2nd Annual Conference and because we want to focus on "answers" and "tools" the participants can walk away with and use in their own community, the theme of this year's conference is "Tools You Can Use!". It will be held August 7-9, 2002 at the Best Western Rio Rancho Inn in Rio Rancho, NM. Our keynote speakers are Jackson Katz-the Renonowned Anti-Violence Educator focusing on Youth/Teen and keynote speaker Julia Perilla speaking on Men's Batterers Treatment Programs.  Workshops will be on youth DV preventioin, law enforcement & DV, the justice system and DV, men's batterer's programs, immigration & DV, DV in gay & lesbian communities, many children's topics, funding & proposal writing, a crisis intervention workshop, and even a workshop for "taking care of ourselves" as advocates, etc...focusing on burnout, meditation, etc...

Early Bird Registration deadline is July 15th and we also have some scholarships still available.  For details,visit our website www.nmcadv.org <http://www.nmcadv.org> , or call Stephanie @ (505) 246-9240.

*The best to you on this conference. Thanks for the information.

Ohio: News for our Croatian partners.

Patrick O'Donnell, our friend and producer of the acclaimed video series, City of Shelter, writes:
It's great to hear that Silent Witness is now in Croatia.  I found this news especially interesting because the City of Shelter domestic violence training series was recently translated into Russian for use in Croatia.  This came about in cooperation with the Cincinnati-Kharkiv Sister City Project.

In the past two years there have been several "citizen exchanges" between Cincinnati and Kharkiv professionals who respond to domestic violence.  Most recentl;y, a group of Croatian law enforcement officers came to Cincinnati where they attended workshops hosted by James Brown, Director of the Police Academy at Clermont College (University of Cincinnati).  Last year several folks from Cincinnati, including James Brown, a prosecutor, and women's shelter director, went to Kharkiv to share ideas.

The Project Director for the Cincinnati-Kharkiv Sister City Project is David Brokaw.  His number is 513-241-8833.  I hope this information is helpful to our Croatian partners.

*Thanks Patrick, for this news. It is thrilling and so rewarding to know that we all collaborate around the world.


Pew Partnership for Civic Change sites RESULTS as the key to programs for the future:
There is now national recognition of how non-profits need to think about results. The Pew Partnership for Civic Change examined why some community projects showed results and others failed. They cited nineteen projects around the country that have been successful--covering a host of issues (domestic violence was not among those they studied). Suzanne Morse, executive director said, "We don't have the luxury to just let a thousand flowers bloom. If we were in the stock market, we would say bet on the ones that have the most promising results and you're likely to get better returns. That's what we're saying."

Community projects that work do these things:
Deal with people's problems in a comprehensive way (example, a women in construction program that included child care and sexual harassment training ); develop extensive contacts throughout the community (example, a substance abuse prevention program coming out of a community meeting); and the assess their results (example, a youth program that helps Latinos complete high school, get driver's licenses, register to vote and learn computer skills--all measurable).

Those programs that don't work often don't mix public and private funds, lose their focus by addressing problems beyond their reach and fail to pay attention to what has worked or failed elsewhere. Source: USA Today and www.pew-partnership.org  

Silent Witness has consistently been focused on results. And we believe in spreading the successes around the country and the world.  We only recommend programs that have been proven to work and all of our programs are replicable. We work with the whole community and we look at the issue of DV in a comprehensive way. We also showcase what everyone is doing in our network newsletter. This focus on research, results, and sharing the things that work is becoming more acceptable all the time. So if you want to be on the cutting edge consider starting one of our results projects. They are summarized on our web site www.silentwitness.net home page right side

Web address from CAEPV
In the last newsletter I send you some wonderful sites but the links did not translate to my computer. Here are the actual sites I mentioned.

Liz Claiborne's Love Is Not Abuse Site:  www.loveisnotabuse.com

Teach Early (Family Violence Prevent Fund Program): http://endabuse.org/programs/display.php3?DocID=9916

OSHA's Workplace Violence Site:  http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/

Economic Development Program for Developing Countries

The program I mentioned in the last newsletter for women's economic development is so exciting. It goes something like this: A group of twenty women from rural areas form a "circle." These twenty women give two hours a day for six days a week to learning to read and write their language so they can participate in commerce. They each make a financial contribution (perhaps only a hand full of rice) each week which is gathered together for the group. The next step is for the group to give a loan (with interest) to the women in the group who are interested in starting their own businesses. There is some basic business training that goes along with this. As each woman pays back her loan they can lend the money to more women. They become their own bank--and their default rate is 0%. The groups I heard about were in Nepal, which is presently the poorest country on the planet. Amazingly some groups in Nepal are now buying land and even loaning money to other community groups. They make as much on their banking as they do on their businesses! In the past, programs have loaned money to the women but in this program the women loan the money to themselves and make all the interest work for them.

The husbands who may not have been so positive at first are seeing their standard of living rising and that makes them much more accepting. The growth of the capital and the success of the women's businesses is amazing. These women are the pioneers for the future. If you are interested in learning about this program perhaps to help work on economic self sufficiency in your country contact the director of the program Marcia Odell  modell@pacthq.org. The program is called Women's Empowerment Initiative. The umbrella organization is called Pact. Their web site is www.pactworld.org   Isn't it amazing what we can do if we wrap our creative minds around a problem?

I leave you today with a quote from Booker T. Washington:

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed."

The women of Nepal have certainly faced a mountain of obstacles. And we certainly have faced obstacles in our work with Silent Witness but the spirit of determination, compassion, courage and healing always prevails. From that vantage point, you are all huge successes.



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