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June 8, 2001


Dear Friends,
I just got back from a few days away at a retreat center in Northern Minnesota. I go there periodically to replenish my soul. An old turtle was a guest near my hermitage this time and what an amazing creature she was. One of the nature's most wonderful and mysterious gifts. Have any of you seen the book called The Old Turtle? A beautiful book with lovely illustrations. I hope Spring is fulfilling all your wishes for renewed life. It is such a time of hope.

It's time to start thinking about your own summer get-aways and also about the October plans for Silent Witness events. I'll be highlighting ways for us to think about that in the next few newsletters. Today I outline some ways to think about our leadership and about how to take Silent Witness to the max.


In just a month or so the old email will be defunct so please email me at this address is you need me or if you would like to send a story for the newsletter. We welcome your additions. The web site is being updated and I'll share that with you soon.

Rima Jordan (researcher on DV, WVA)


Georgia Pinola from Sacramento write us this summary of their activities:

Currently, the silhouettes feature the men, women and children who suffered domestic violence related homicides in 1999. In addition, one silhouette honors the woman whose 1996 murder inspired outraged neighbors to launch Sacramento's "Break the Silence on Domestic Violence" campaign. An additional 9 silhouettes, 1990 through 1998, will be added each representing one year and the corresponding total number of domestic violence victims.

In April for Victims' Rights Week in California, the silhouettes were displayed on the West Steps of the Capitol at the Annual March on the Capitol, on the Mall in front our building, and at O.H. Close Juvenile Correctional Facility. The impact the silhouettes have on people of all ages is very moving and amazing. Our Executive Officer for the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, Kelly Brodie, has said many times that the display hits home when you realize that each person killed by domestic violence was an everyday person who could have been a loved one of your own. June 1, 2001, the silhouettes will be a part of "Take Back the Night" event in Davis, California, and June 10, 2001, one of the Sacramento area Presbyterian Churches will display the silhouettes.

*Thank you, Georgia, for this great information. Your Silent Witnesses are really busy telling their stories. And they were all loved; each was someone's daughter, someone's sister, or someone's mother.

A request from our colleagues in England. Let's all try to help them out--soon.

Here at DIVA, Newcastle Domestic Violence Forum, England, we're conducting research into the different types of posters/images and messages which are used in campaigns around the world to raise awareness of domestic violence. The aim is for DIVA to build up an extensive portfolio of images and posters which demonstrate the global nature of women's experience of domestic violence.

The posters we receive will form the focus of local community work with different women's groups across Newcastle. We plan to carry out focus groups with the aim of women's groups designing their own posters. Original copies of posters will be of the most use to the groups as they will enable women to look at the different images and colours and the impact these have.

Further to providing a focus for local community work the posters will be put together in a display for International Day of Action Against Violence Against Women on 25 November 2001 and will also support our work for International Women's Day on 8th March 2002.

I have accessed your website and am interested to know if you have any copies of original posters that you could send us to further our work on awareness of domestic violence campaigns internationally. Thank you for any posters that you think may be of use to us. We hope to
receive posters to enable us to carry out the community work by the middle of July.

Nicola Groves Survivors Charter Worker DIVA, Floor E , Milburn House, Dean Street, Newcastle-upon- Tyne, England, NE1 1LE.
email:diva@newcastle.gov.uk Web: www.domesticviolence.org.uk

*Thanks for this great work, Nicola. We would love to put photos of your posters on our web site. Keep in touch.


Carole Adler, the new Court Watch Chairperson in North Surburban Cook County wrote us about your responses to her request.

Just a note to let you know I received 4 responses to my request for court watch information. Each of those responses was very informative and some gave other connections and places to increase the shared information. Hurray for email. Hurray for Silent Witness people who shared information with me. Thanks.

*I love this networking. Thanks all of you who took the time to help her out. You are angels.

Thanks to Judy Nelson of the Jr. League of St. Paul for heading the SW efforts for the last few years. She is going on to more leadership within the League and her successor Rhonda Miller will take over the SW efforts in St. Paul. Welcome Rhonda.

And a note from the St. Paul newspaper:

The St. Paul Police Department was awarded more than $100,000 to help it create a special unit to fight domestic abuse. Last year, St. Paul officers responded to more than 15,000 domestic cases. Domestic violence caused the deaths of seven women in St. Paul. The unit will provide better case management, better prosecutions and better follow-through. The sergeants will investigate cases for prosecutions, while the officers will do follow-ups with victims, gather evidence and serve as community liaisons. A data base of chronic abusers will be compiled. Earlier this year the Minneapolis Police Department started a similar unit by combining the existing domestic assault and child abuse units. Minneapolis handled about 21,000 domestic calls in 2000. Devoting concentrated attention to domestic violence should strengthen prosecution efforts and reduce the number of offenders who plead guilty to reduced charges. 

*Good going, Twin Cities. We need good law enforcement to help victims feel they can count on the system.


Jerri Miller writes this wonderful news about their contacts within Business and Professional Women:
attached is a letter I propose to send out to BPW members in early July. I am anticipating about 1000 of them will be hand delivered to women from all 50 states plus the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Our state members that are going to the National Conference in Portland are responsible for putting together packets for the delegates, and this letter will be put in each packet, plus they will be talking about SW at the Legislative Platform meetings. I've made some contacts in Colorado and Utah, and with luck, Vickie & I should be going to Salt Lake City by summer's end to help them set up and get organized.

***Jerri has given me a copy of her fabulous letter of introduction to all her BPW counterparts across the country. I would be happy to pass it along to anyone who wants to see it and I will get it on the web site in a few weeks. email me at jhagberg@mn.rr.com or Jerri at jerrim@state.mt.us

*I just love to see this kind of energy and outreach. SW is such a wonderful network. Keep up the great work. 


The National Council of Jewish Women has put together a three-step approach to activism and I think it fits well for Silent Witness activists as well. I share it with you to illustrate some of the ways in which we can keep moving forward with Silent Witness. I am grateful to NCJW for sharing this with me and I learned from it myself. If any of you would like to add to this before it goes on the web site, just let me know.

Step1: Become Informed

Sign up for the SW newsletter
Read the Silent Witness Results book
Check out the SW web site www.silentwitness.net

Talk with others who are involved with Silent Witness
Search the internet for DV related sites
Read books or articles on DV issues

Recognize that someone you know has been abused, possibly even yourself
Attend a march or another local event
Keep the worldwide organization informed about local activities

Step 2: Become Involved in the "Case"

Create Silent Witnesses in your region
Help to plan a local event with the Silent Witnesses
Speak out on DV issues or tell about your own involvement with Silent Witness

Come to a National Steering Committee Meeting
Find other artistic ways to show how we are doing in reducing DV homicides and offer them as a national project
Work with other DV groups within your city/state to collaborate on DV issues

Apply what you are learning from SW to other parts of your life or profession
Work on healing from your own abuse 
Become a mentor, state organizer or regional director to encourage others to be involved
Study the Results projects, thinking about which ones would be most appropriate for your city/state

*We need more leaders within SW at this level and would love for you to participate
**If you are involved at this level now and wish for another challenge, find someone else in your city or organization to do what you 
were doing and then move on to the next level of involvement.

Step 3: Become Strategic--focus on the underlying cause and actions to address it

Set specific goals for the reduction in DV homicides and measure how your city/state are doing each year
Set specific goals for the number of SW exhibits you want to have in your state and how often you want them to appear
Be consciously generous about sharing information and resources with other groups, cities and states

Become a SW mentor, either to other new groups or for a Results Project
Coordinate the Results Projects training in your area
Sponsor research on Results projects in your area

Implement Results Projects after the training--or get others to implement them
Look for other successful projects that have not been identified as Results Projects yet. Volunteer to head them up or get other 
organizations to do so 
Look for new underlying sources of DV: design legislation, programs to reduce it

Become a national leader within your organization or the Silent Witness network, using your best skills to further the work
Encourage your organization to take on more Results oriented projects and measure how they work
After working on your own healing, be a healer for others who are ready to move forward

*We need people who are willing to move from the previous step to this one. Several of you have many years of SW experience now and I invite you to think about moving to this next level. Thank you to those of you who have already made this move. Let me know if you are interested.

Step 4: Silent Witness Master Leaders, Master Healers

Bring down the DV murder rate in your city or state to zero
Bring all the Results project that are pertinent to your city/state and keep track of the results
Have SW figures present in every major community in your state
Use your leadership skills to mentor emerging leaders who will carry on the work and move the healing forward
Heal any rifts within the DV movement within your city or state so we can all work together
Teach others to be healers of DV so that the work and the leadership multiply 
Pass along all that you know with generosity and joy

You are all angels. Let's see if we can use this model to really push to make a difference in the DV homicide levels in the next few years. What does it mean to move from case to cause? It means a shift in focus and in effort--the act of moving from a specific intervention of helping an individual or a group to a strategic intervention aimed at developing leadership for achieving change in a whole system. It means taking the goal of eliminating domestic violence homicides seriously and going after the root causes of the issue; in perpetrators and survivors, in the courts, in relationships, in adolescents, in the churches/synagogues.

So ask yourselves these questions. Find a time for your SW group to get together and address these.

1.What is our Silent Witness group currently doing to address the DV issue?

2. What is the impact of our actions? What kind of impact do we want to have?

3. What are the larger issues?

4. What do we need to move forward? What are the gaps in information? What resources do we currently have?

5. How can we break down the action steps to make them manageable?

I hope this helps you to be grateful for all that you have done already and to know that you are deeply appreciated. And I hope it also helps you to think strategically about your group's work in the next several years.

Note from our International Ambassador: Lois Herman

Next month I will be at the European Union in Brussels, and meeting with the European Women's Lobby and the Centre-Violence. Though we have sent Silent Witness video and information to my friend Colette Detroy there, I plan to take another copy and the Results Book, and discuss more specifically how we could extend Silent Witness in Europe through the EWL. 

Also, I have talked with Doris Pagelkopf, who is a member of the World YWCA Executive Board. I plan to present Silent Witness to World YWCA in Geneva, but wanted first to show it to her as she is LOCAL, and a YWCA veteran. I will look for her feedback on strategy.

I have presented Silent Witness to the Women and Family Affairs Center in Palestine = http://www.wafac.org. They are starting a new Domestic Violence initiative.

May we hope for peace and justice in the Middle East, and peace in the family, at home, in relationships, around the world!

San Diego DV Conference notebooks:

Anne O'Dell writes: Conference Notebooks from this year's conference in San Diego on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault are available for $60.00 (includes shipping and handling). These are wonderful materials from all our speakers: Sgt. Joanne Archambault, Sgt. Anne O'Dell (Ret.). Lt. Mark Wynn (Ret.), Det. Trinka Porrata (Ret.) (Drug facilitated sexual assault), Gael Strack, Deputy City Attorney, SD, Diana Faugno RN, SANE, and others. If you are interested, please email, fax or call us to purchase. (Can use Visa or MasterCard) 

I leave you today with a pithy quote from Louisa May Alcott.

"I'm no longer afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my own ship."




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