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July 4, 2003

Dear Friends,
It's the Fourth of July in the States; our celebration of freedom. I can't think of any better news to report to you today than this: The rates of intimate partner non fatal incidents against women are down 49% from 1993 - 2001. DV non fatal incidents for men fell 42% during the same period. Freedom indeed!

Domestic violence homicides for women are down 25% since the 70s; for men down 71% in the same time period. The domestic homicide rates for 2001 are down from the previous year. Women: 1197 Men: 397. More details on the numbers in the worldwide headquarters section.

Every time you get discouraged or wonder whether you are making a difference, just remember that one life saved is worth a life time of work. We have found healing programs that are saving lives. We have brought DV awareness to a whole new level with the Silent Witnesses. We are soothing the hearts of family members of victims with the shawl and scarf projects. Our data collection is seen as credible and reliable. And our collaborations with others are second to none. Let's get together next May in RI not only to share information, new ideas, best practices, results projects and new challenges--but also to celebrate what we have already done and how far we have all come. So all of you angels, join us for the march.

Patty Perez (SW Coordinator, Texas Council on Family Violence, Austin), Kathy Wilson (Texas Council on Family Violence, Austin), Shannon Enright-Smith (resources for women, Albuquerque, NM), Lesley Frost (SW Coordinator, shawl distributor, NJ, new email address), Cindy Doyle-Bryce (Vashon, Washington, new SW exhibit), Sara B (Student Life, Texas A&M, new SW exhibit), Marjorie lacy (Henry County, GA, looking into SW exhibit), Grace Harkness (Silent Witness Board Member), Katarina Soechtig (student athlete, Germany, interest in new SW project), Hedda Nussbaum (survivor, shawl recipient, NY).


2nd National March to End the Silence, Providence, RI May 21-23, 2004 We need your photos!
Please send photos of your Silent Witness project for inclusion in a special slide show at our Saturday breakfast at our march. All photos will be returned! I need to make them into slides and would love to have at LEAST one project from every state in the U.S. and other countries for our program. Send them to: Nancy Rafi, 22 Calvert Street, Newport, RI, USA 02840

Contact Nancy to let her know you are coming to the march ASAP. 9 States/countries have already committed to joining the March in Rhode Island: Canada, Cayman Islands, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island. Not bad for only one week, huh?


Our sisters in Kenya are holding a seminar on rape, homicide, and Female Genital Mutilation-- Esther writes us about it:
Happy to know that you've remembered us in sending two shawls to us and other for the other group. We are preparing seminar within this week addressing violence with kisii town where by many people are murdered. The seminar will be addressed by the group members about research and the data they have in place of how many people have been murdered since the start of the year 2003. We will send you every details including even photos of the participants. Area members of parliament, police men community leaders will attend.
Hoping to hear from you. yours Esther

Report from the meeting: From the seminar and the campaign participants agreed that 20-25 women are reported to be abused per week when when, such cases are taken to court it takes years which actually equates to justices delayed, justice denied. 15-20cases of rape is reported after two week this is done by family members, relatives strangers this takes place for minors children within the age bracket 6-15years all when this matter is reported it takes the same course as the first one, by taking years in delaying justices. Female Genital Mutilation in every month of December 50-100 girls undergoes female genital mutilation.

And in regard to the above brief analysis, the participants who of course were gender sensitive proposed that women gender desks should be placed / established within the police stations where women issues in regard to violence are dealt with promptly. Secondly they suggested that task force groups should be established that undertakes to lobby and advocate for rights of women and the girl- child Thirdly they suggested continuous education on the rights of women to the general public through use of posters, materials i.e I.E.C and through folk songs drama and poetry. Within the establishment of task forces Nyakwengata women group was given the mandate to spearhead and be its umbrella body in the management and overseeing of the project activities. Anyone who wants to be in contact with this group's activities, see their summary or photos or to help them in any way email Esther at

*This sounds like a very important meeting. We are with you in your struggle against murders in your town. Good job Esther and friends.

This note from a financial planner from the Pittsburgh area. Anyone willing to do this and help out Silent Witness???
I am a Financial Advisor with American Express Financial Advisors, Inc. at Pittsburgh office. I would like donate $1000 worth of financial planning services to your organization, or to your patriotic donators in exchanging of their donation to your organization. Please call me at 412-851-9500 x 237 (Li Grunnagle) or e-mail to me if you are interested in my donation. Thank you.

*This would be a wonderful way to you to contribute and get something valuable back for yourself. Think about it.

Rhode Island:

Melanie Martin, our SW Coordinator in RI writes this amazing news: Happy summer!! We had another awesome event the other day!! The Institute for International Sport is in the middle of their Scholar-Athlete Games. The participants are all high school students. As part of Community Service day the students painted 60 silent witnesses. The day started with a dating violence presentation by Amy Retsinas and Ben Atherton-Zeman from the Women¹s Resource Center of South County. There was also a survivor speaker from Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR). It was empowering as students asked questions and a young man from Miami got up at the end to express his very strong feelings on the need for men to be involved in the fight against DV. It was great!

After lunch about 50 participants had an introduction to SW. We also presented our Attorney General, Patrick Lynch with a witness, The Unknown Woman, to keep in his office. He has been extremely supportive of Silent Witness. After the presentation, the kids got to work, sanding, priming and painting! It was amazing to see so many young people get involved in our project. Many of them want to get involved in their state and a girl from Germany wants to start a project. They are an amazing group of young people! This would not have been possible without the help of Meghan Higgins. She is the director of Community Service Days. She got involved, got the materials donated and cut the 60 witnesses out herself with the help of only one other person! She has made a huge impact on our project in RI. We will now have an actual witness for all of our witnesses in RI! She is AWESOME!!!

*Such a wonderful way to get high schoolers in involved in such a visible hands-on project. Way to do Meghan, Mel, Amy, Ben and company.

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.

We also have quilts for kids whose mothers were murdered in acts of DV. To request a quilt for a kid contact Augusta Rodgers 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

Thank you from Hawaii:I am writing to say thank you. I received your beautiful shawl as did my Mother and I was so taken by the thoughtfulness and beauty of your actions. The shawl is just gorgeous and I have it across my new sofa and it looks beautiful and a reminder that someone cares about Patty. I am still healing even after 26 years. It really matters. What a nice thing you are doing. It makes me feel so good knowing there are people out there who really do notice injustice and who really care.Thanks again and let me know if there is anything I can do. Jan H.

Thank you for a shawl: I got my shawl today. It is just beautiful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Shawl request: Michele writes: My name is Michele Newman from the Burke County Domestic Violence Agency, Options, Inc. We have a family that as of two months ago the husband and father were convicted in the death of Elizabeth E. She left behind a very wonderful mother and aunt who have taken her children into there home and given them every thing that they could need. We feel at Options that these two women are so brave and wonderful to have to put there feelings on hold to make the lives of Elizabeth¹s child better and to help deal with the lose of there mother. Not forgetting the lose of there own child and niece. The Shawl program would really let these two women know that we feel there lose and care for them as much as they cared for Elizabeth. Thank your for this wonderful initiative!

Thank you for a shawl: Today I was surprised by an unexpected package I received at the post office. Inside it, as I'm sure you know, was a beautiful hand knit shawl and a letter that brought tears to my eyes with the love it showed. Also, I was moved even more because I had the privilege to have met Sheila Wellstone a few years ago when I gave a talk in Minneapolis; and, in fact, she was scheduled to introduce the talk I gave at Metropolitan State last October; but she was unable to make it. But we did chat on the telephone; and a few days later I learned she'd been killed in a plane crash. Even though I didn't know her well, for some reason I've continued to carry around her phone number scrawled on a sheet of lined paper. I think the shawl project is extraordinary, and so are the loving words on the letter that came with it. I send my thanks to you and to Kathy Willy who knitted the beautiful and comforting shawl. Sincerely, Hedda

Shawls and scarves knit and sent: We have received 118 shawls or the equivalent in yarn and have given out 103 (we have four to knit from yarn we have received). We have received 15 scarves and have given out 14. This is an amazing project. It touches the hearts of so many people.

Starting shawl projects:

If you would like to start a shawl project for your area please contact me at It takes just a little ingenuity and some out reach and then all you do is admire the beauty of the shawls and the generosity of people. We have all the information you need on our web site. Usually church groups, knitting groups and yarn stores will get the word of mouth going and then it's easy. If you do not have contact with families of homicide victims and want to give shawls to survivors in your area, that would be a great use of theses shawls as well. The amount of comfort they give and the good will they spread is so amazing, I am constantly astounded by it.


Decrease in intimate partner homicides for both men and women in 2001:
These are the number of DV homicides of intimate partners using the DOJ definition (spouse, ex-spouse, girl-boyfriend, common-law spouses, and homosexual partner).

Female DV Homicides 1997: 1217 1998: 1323 1999: 1218 2000: 1247 2001: 1197 A rise in both 1998 and 2000 but a drop in 2001 to a level below that of 1997. This represents a 25% drop since 1976 when the US first reported this data.

Male DV Homicides 1997: 451 1998: 515 1999: 426 2000: 440 2001: 397 A rise in both 1998 and 2000 but a drop in 2001 to a level below that of 1997. This represents a 71% drop since 1976 when the US first reported this data.

This information is from the FBI Supplemental Homicide Reports published on line (this year's data will be available later this summer) on the Department of Justice web site,

Dramatic decrease in nonfatal domestic violence: from CAEPV
As with all other violent crimes, violence between intimates decreased substantially in recent years. From 1993 through 2001, intimate partner violence against females declined 49 percent, from 9.8 to 5.0 nonfatal victimizations per 1,000 female U.S. residents. Intimate violence against males fell 42 percent, from 1.6 such victimizations to .9 per 1,000 male residents during the same period. Intimate partner violence made up 20% of violent crime against women in 2001 and 3% of all nonfatal violence against men. To read more from the report, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993 - 2001, visit the Bureau of Justice statistics web site at .

Information about the data source: National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the Nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of 42,000 households comprising nearly 76,000 persons on the frequency, characteristics and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The survey enables BJS to estimate the likelihood of victimization by rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft for the population as a whole as well as for segments of the population such as women, the elderly, members of various racial groups, city dwellers, or other groups.

Studies of Agression in women:
Three researchers, funded by the NIH have come up with some challenging results about aggression in women. Here is their summary. If you would like to see the whole summary please email me at This article appeared in USA Today.
It is not just men who hit women. Women hit men, too. And the latest research shows that ignoring the role women play in domestic violence
does both women and men a disservice. There is little doubt that women get hurt more than men. She may slap him. But then he may hit her harder or more often.

Most researchers agree more women than men are seriously hurt in partner violence. Still, the newest findings challenge the feminist belief that "it is men only who cause violence," says psychologist Deborah Capaldi of the Oregon Social Learning Center. "That is a myth." By not understanding the mutual role they often play, women are at great risk for injury, new studies show. The number of women who hit first or hit back is "much greater than has been generally assumed," Capaldi says. She says she is surprised by the frequency of aggressive acts by women and by the number of men who are afraid of partners who assault them.

Capaldi and two other female researchers call for a re-evaluation of treatment programs nationwide. Such programs focus on men and ignore women. Men are court-ordered into some type of rehabilitation, and their women are told in support groups or shelters that they had nothing to do with the violence, Capaldi says. "Prevention and treatment should focus on managing conflict and aggression for both young men and women," Capaldi says. Each needs to understand the role both play while still putting a "special responsibility" on the man, who can inflict greater injury.

The three women did different studies but presented them as a team recently to a conference sponsored by the Society for Prevention Research. The National Institutes of Health sponsored much of the work. The researchers emphasize they are not blaming women. "We are not saying anybody is at fault," says psychologist Miriam Ehrensaft of Columbia University. "But new data is emerging that says women are also involved in aggression. If we do not tell women that, we put them at risk."

DV Manual for Churches:
Susan Germanson ( is offering a DV seminar on Oct 23, 2003 in Minneapolis, for pastors/faith leaders so that they can learn more about how to become more proactive with respect to DV in their congregations. She plans on using a recently developed manual at this seminar, developed by Marlene Jezierski ( ) Susan says the book is very easy to read and use. It is well organized and has all the appropriate information for churches. It is set up so that the churches can train themselves. All they have to do is to follow the curriculum.

Women's Fears about DV: (from CAEPV) -- A recent poll by the Center for the Advancement of women found that worries about domestic violence and sexual assault are primary concerns. The poll of 3,329 women 18 and older found that 92 percent prioritize domestic violence and sexual assault as a concern. Equal pay for equal work came in second at 90 percent.

Costs of DV in the US: Lois Herman sent us this information.
The health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking and homicide committed by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year,
according to a report released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Costs of Intimate Partner Violence
Against Women in the United States estimates the incidence, prevalence and health-related costs of non-fatal and fatal intimate partner
violence against women. It also identifies future research needs and highlights CDC priorities for violence prevention research.

Victims of intimate partner violence often seek medical attention as a result of the violence. Costs of Intimate Partner Violence estimates
these health-related costs to be more than $5.8 billion annually. Of that amount, nearly $4.1 billion are for direct medical and mental
health care services, and nearly $1.8 billion are for the indirect costs of lost productivity or wages.

Nearly 90 percent of these costs are attributable to intimate partner to stalking, according to the report. The study breaks down the direct health costs of intimate partner violence by type of assault. The total medical and mental health care cost per victimization by an intimate partner is $838 per rape, $816 per physical assault and $294 per stalking.

Survivor's Conference:
You are invited to the 'SURVIVAL 2003' Worldwide Road to Recovery Conference August 21-23, 2003 at the Holiday Inn at 2711 S. Ocean Dr.
Hollywood. This conference is for victims/, friends, co-workers, neighbors, the professional fields and the nonprofessional that work with, deal with, help, or are concerned about ending violence and abuse in our homes and community. http://survival2003.tripod.comWe have guests coming from as far away as India and Africa to join us at this conference to share their experiences in their own country. If you would like to do a presentation please let us know. Thurs and Friday the 21st & 22nd from 9 to 9, Sat. the 23rd 9am to 5 pm, cost is $50 a day per person. Reservations and fees must me sent in ASAP. If you are staying in the hotel it is $98.95 a night double occupancy
Please RSVP. Reverend Sharlene Humm. Sharlene's Angels On Earth Inc. 954-989-6500

Men's voices within Silent Witness:
We are welcoming men's voices on our web site. If you are involved with Silent Witness and would like to speak about your experience with SW or your activities related to domestic violence, or your feelings about DV, please email me at If you are a man who has not been involved with Silent Witness but have an inspiring story to tell us or a view to share, please email us. We will post these responses on our web site. If you do not want your name on your submission, we will honor that.

Another example of men working with Silent Witness comes from Portland, ME. A group of men there hold a candlelight vigil whenever a local woman is murdered in an act of domestic violence. They gather in the main park in town and speak about how this is not acceptable and not the model of what they as men, stand for. We are grateful to them for showing us how men really care about this issue.

I leave you today with most of the lyrics of a song written by Leslie Monaghan (SW, New Brunswick, Canada) about the Silent Witnesses. She will have a CD out this fall and I will remind you when it is available. And she'll share the song with us at our March to End the Silence next May in Providence. I've heard this song on a demo CD and it is astonishing beautiful.

³ I¹ll Stand in the Rain²

I have no voice. I feel no pain.
I¹ll stand beside you each step of the way.
I¹ll see you through . There¹s work left to do
So no more lives will be lost in vain
I¹ll stand in the rain.

I¹ll take my place, though you can¹t see my face.
You can¹t see my eyes, all the tears that they¹ve cried.
You can¹t feel my heart, but I¹ll do my part
To help bring awareness from out of the dark.
I¹ll do my part.

I¹ll stand in the rain. I¹ll stand in the snow.
I¹ll carry my message wherever I go.
To bring peace and healingŠto help the world change
I¹ll stand in the rain.

I¹ll stand in the rain. I¹ll weather each storm
In hope that compassion will one day be the norm
My voice may be gone, but my spirit is strong
I¹ll stand in the rain.

Don¹t turn away. Don¹t close your eyes.
My friends, it¹s time to realize
There¹s lots to do. Reach out your hand,
We¹ll heal the pain across this land
Together we¹ll stand.

We¹ll stand in the rain. We¹ll weather each storm
In hope that compassion will one day be the norm
Our voices are silent, our spirits remain
We¹ll stand in the rain.

If we all work together, we will see a new dayŠŠ
ŠWe¹ll stand in the rain.

Our voices are gone, but our spirits live onŠ..



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