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June 02  Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Spring is moving along and with spring come graduations, weddings and family gatherings. It is a busy and beautiful time. The flowers fill the air with new aromas and wondrous beauty. Sometimes the beauty of it all just stops me in my tracks and I breathe a word of thanks. This week several cars (including mine) were stopped on a parkway near my home while Canadian Geese marched slowly across the road looking for the next source of fresh food. I sighed with thanks for being stopped on my busy rounds with a sign that nature is still in charge. Gratefulness is an art form and one which I am trying to practice on a regular basis.

I am grateful for you and for all the work you do and for the energy you give me with your responses and your heartfelt good wishes. You are amazing. You are angels. I am also grateful for the lives of the women we honor with our Silent Witness exhibits all around the country. Today I give you a few more of their stories so we will remember them and renew our pledge to heal this country of domestic violence.


JENNIFER PHEIFFER, Age 18, Killed July 25, 1991

She was a resident of Burlington County. She was a teenager, killed by her boyfirned with 6 gunshot wounds from a 9 mm handgun. Her boyfriend was heard stating that he would kill her that day; he followed through. He was sentenced to 30 years, for 1st degree murder, with no probation.


ALLISON SCHMIDT, Age 25, Killed June 23, 1995

Allison was teaching English in Rochester which is in Middlesex County. She was a doctoral student. After an argument with her ex-fiance about money missing from her account, she was found dead. Her ex-fiance has been charged with her murder.


BARBARA RICHARDSON, Age unknown, Killed August 4, 1992

She was a resident of Atlantic County. She was stalked by her estranged husband everywhere she went--at home, at work and on the street. Asked to leave her place of business, her ex-husband re-entered throught the rear door and stabbed her multiple times with a hunting knife, while a policeman guarded the front door. Convicted of 1st degree murder, the husband will serve 30 years before he can be paroled.


WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:

Angela Doyle (Silent Witness, Cayman Islands), Judy Miller (Silent Witness National Headquarters' data hound), Julie Bubul (Catalina Methodist Church, Tucson)

 

NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:

INTERNATIONAL EMAIL:

These are the countries/territories that are currently receiving our email newsletter. Isn't this exciting? We are joining hands around the world. We have many of these contacts thanks to Lois Herman who is a walking-talking commercial for Silent Witness on each of her international trips involving human rights, women's rights and domestic violence. Thanks Lois.


Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Cayman Islands, England, Guam, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and Uruguay. There may be others that I have missed or am not aware of. I know copies of the Silent Witness Story, our first book are in all of Eastern Europe and in Mongolia, Spain and Scandinavia. Please let me know if there are
other countries on line, so I can add them to my address book.

ARIZONA:

Memorial for John Peterson:
Nancy Rafi of Rhode Island called with a fabulous suggestion regarding John Peterson's Memorial Service. If you are interested in being part of the ongoing work that John started in working with Silent Witness and with perpetrators please consider sending a memorial gift to Silent Witness on his behalf. Diane (his wife) is setting up a non-profit Silent Witness organization in Arizona and for the time being (until she is legally able to receive tax deductible funds) Silent Witness National will hold the funds for her. Silent Witness National is also donating money to help Diane get started. Just send your checks or credit card numbers to Silent Witness with a notation on it that it is in memory of John Peterson. I'll send you back a verification and I will be sure that Diane and SW Arizona gets all the money. Make checks to Silent Witness 7 Sheridan Av. So. Minneapolis, MN 55413-1935. And thanks, Nancy, for the idea and for the generous donation from Rhode Island.

Summary of the Memorial Service from Janet: The Memorial Service was one of the most moving services I've ever attended. It was small and intimate, with each person having a chance to tell the group what John meant to them and to the larger world. He was a giant among men. We saw slides of his life and of the people he'd touched. We heard his folk group members sing his favorite songs and we heard his wife and sons tell stories about his life. I told of his courage and role modeling in his talk at the March to End the Silence in Washington and his tremendous work with Silent Witness in two states. First he helped make the Vermont exhibit and then he moved to Arizona and helped coordinate the Arizona exhibit. His ability to work on his personal issues and make his life meaningful was an inspiration to all of us. He told me before he died that he would one day work with Silent Witness from "the other side" and I believe that his work is now to mend and heal the hearts of men. A contribution you make in his honor will help make his dream of healing come true.

 

ILLINOIS:

David Nybakke, a business owner in Bloomington, IL writes: 
We have created a "local" (Bloomington/Normal/McLean County) chapter of members of the
national Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. There are eight companies currently involved.

From only our third meeting (we meet Quarterly) we are (roughly) putting together an idea for a
2 hour meeting over lunchtime for the part of October this year. 20 - 30 people attending that would have each of the company's representatives of CAEPV and strongly recruiting their CEO and extending invitation to a couple targeted major corps in town to attend and address the following concerns:

  • What this membership does for their workplace gear to them as business leaders
    "Community resources" as by product

  • What can they do that produces outcomes - appeal to enlightened self-interest

  • Show what CAEPV involved members are doing to impact the workplace 


*This is so exciting--that companies are gearing up to work with their peers on issues of domestic violence in the workplace. We'll be excited to hear about the results of this meeting.

 

WASHINGTON:

A recent exchange on a list serve on Domestic Violence:

I'm a community advocate at a DV agency in Bellevue, Washington. I am Jewish and part of my job is to do outreach to the Jewish community. I recently helped put together a Passover Seder for Jewish survivors of DV with a haggadah written specifically to address domestic violence. It was a wonderful experience. 

Anyhow, I'm interested in learning about the education program you (Peter Glick) are doing with your synagogue. An interagency task force just formed here to look at how we can work together to address domestic violence & sexual assaultacross the lifespan with faith communities. I'm participating in that group & would love to pass along any info or recommendations you would like to share.

Thanks in advance,Alison Iser, Community Advocate, Eastside Domestic Violence Program alisoni@edvp.org

Response from PETER GLICK PGLICK@courts.state.ny.us

Key items I found useful were two books (respectively by Rabbi Twerski and by Naomi Graetz -see biblio for more info and an attached article), and an excellent teaching tool from Jewish Women International (Rabbi's Guide). Some of these materials came in hard form from local agencies. Others came from the internet. Although I did not include all their websites in the bibliography, they can be located by a Google search.

For information on domestic violence in the Jewish community, contact Jewish Women International and see their excellent site: http://www.jewishwomen.org/AWAKEN.htm

Their 120-page booklet called Resource Manuals for Rabbis is an excellent resource and was available for about $13 (rabbi's copy is free). Contact Diane to order. Ms. Diane Gardsbane, Program Manager, Jewish Women International, 1828 L Street N.W., Suite 250 Washington, DC
20036 202-857-1300 diane@jwi.org

*These sound like wonderful sources of information on domestic violence within the Jewish Community. Kudos to Jewish Women International. The National Council of Jewish Women has also made domestic violence one of their top goals for the country and they are putting together
materials for their sections to use. 

WASHINGTON DC:

In their national legislative newsletter, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence urges us to call our legislators and encourage them to support the reauthorization of the VAWA Bill. This bill funds shelters and many other DV related survices in all the states. Here is the suggested action sent out by NCADV:

We encourage all of you to take advantage of this Congressional action on VAWA Reauthorization and call the members of the full House Judiciary Committee asking them to: 

1) Continue VAWA's momentum and schedule a mark-up of the bill in full committee immediately following the Memorial Day recess; 

 2) Restore dating violence coverage to H.R. 1248. A more thorough description of the VAWA Reauthorization bill and other legislative priorities can be found in the public policy section of our website at http://www.ncadv.org

*We are indebted to NCADV for their hard work on the reauthorization of the VAWA bill. Thanks for all this wonderful work on behalf of battered women.

 

NEWS FROM SILENT WITNESS HEADQUARTERS:

WHITE BISON WALK ACROSS AMERICA (UPDATE):

An update from Vonna Thomas, who is following the White Bison Walk Across America:
I wanted to give you a quick update. As we have continued across America, the silhouettes that we carry and display continue to have a profound impact upon the people we meet. Especially touching is the reaction to the sihouette of Brandy Jo, the five year old from Cheyenne, Wyoming. We can't always carry all the silhouettes in our arms as we enter new communities along our route, but we carry Brandy Jo, along with the Sacred Hoop as we enter a new area. This silhouette and the story of Brandy Jo has touched countless lives. I thank God for your program, and for God's promise of Romans 8:28...to work out something good out of something so bad.

*This walk is profound. We are with you in spirit and in hope. May all the country listen to the message of the Native American walkers and the Silent Witnesses to end all the violence.

 

THANKS TO THE CHAIRWOMAN OF SILENT WITNESS AND OUR 'DATA HOUND':

Susan Mundale, our Board Chairwoman deserves lots of kudos.She has been a big part of the production of our new book, Results, and she is overseeing the media presentation of the book. I really appreciate her wisdom and insights on this most important project. What a gift it is for me to have such a great board chair.

And Judy Miller deserves a huge thanks for all the calling and data hounding that she does for Silent Witness. She tracks down the cities that report zero domestic homicides and makes sure the data is accurate according to the police. She gets mailing lists and makes sure that every thing gets out on time. We really appreciate her work. Thanks a bunch Judy.

 

A TIDBIT ON WHAT WOMEN DIE FROM:

We know that about 1100-1200 women die as a result of domestic violence murders every year but I was surprised to learn of some of the other things that women die of (besides breast cancer which we hear a lot about):

  • Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in women killing more women than men every year.
  • Strokes killed approximately 97,000 women and 63,000 men in 1997.
  • HIV/AIDS is the 4th leading killer of women aged 25-44.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women, taking the lives of approximately 62,000 women each year.
  • Colorectal cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths in women, killing almost 30,000 women each year. 

Source: National Vital Statistice Report, June 30, 1999.

 

I leave you today with a quote from Nyanaponika Thera,

It is compassion that removes the heavy bar, opens the door to freedom, makes the narrow heart as wide as the world. Compassion takes away from the heart the inert weight, the paralyzing heaviness; it gives wings to those who cling to the lowlands of self.


Cheers,

Janet


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