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August 9, 2002

Dear Friends,

October events are already being planned and the anticipation is growing for more healing and lives changed by our endeavors. I am moved already by the things you are sending in and the programming you are doing. Keep up the good work. Together we can heal our world of domestic violence.

Eve Miller, Christine Van Meter (Berks Women in Crisis, Reading, PA), Camille DiRa (Deer Park, NY), Twila Barber (rural DV advocate, Dunn House shelter, Medford, OR), Jacqueline Nathan (Public Education Director, Fulton-Mason Crisis Service, Canton, IL)

States on Board for October events: 14 states on board so far.
Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wyoming.

Please let me know ASAP if you are planning an event, even if you don't have the details. It saves us making calls to all the states!!


Geri Haynes, our former SW Coordinator in Sarasota writes this exciting news:

Almost 2 years ago, the Family Violence Task Force requested endorsement of a Family Violence Free Zone in Sarasota County by the Board of County Commission.  They agreed, and went a step further in creating a 10 member advisory council (Family Violence Advisory Council - FVAC) to research the issues and report to them with recommendations.

That council members are representatives for various facets of the community (i.e. business, health/medical, faith etc.) and each has a
workgroup of individuals that brainstorm and discuss the issues.  The first annual report was presented earlier this month, and the primary
issues targeted were: The services available to children who witness DV, especially the prenatal to five age group AND Finding a permanent, public location to display the Silent Witnesses when they are not on loan.

They have ordered a staff report to provide the specific details and recommendations for both issues, and so it appears that the ladies will
soon have a home where the general public can see them.  We currently have them displayed/stored at the Sheriff's Victim Services office.
The FVAC is currently preparing informational forums for October that focus on children, and the elderly. And so you see, we've still been at it.  I am playing an advisory role to the FVAC, since I designed the structure and the plan, but they are becoming more autonomous and I hope to continuing the transfer of responsibility to the council.

*Geri, thanks for your faithfulness to this effort in Sarasota. It is making a difference and we are all so grateful.

Stephanie Whitehead sends us this idea for an October event:

Here is an event you may want to do. We are having an Interfaith Prayer Breakfast for Domestic Violence on October 19, 2002 in a local church. We invite community leaders, pastors and and residents of the city to join with us for intercession prayer, speakers, fellowship and partnership (and breakfast).

*Great idea, Stephanie. Will you have any Silent Witness figures at the breakfast? They would be very compelling.

Adreena Harley, from Troy, Michigan writes this good news:

Our hospital will be sponsoring activities in the fall including:
1. Silent witness remembrance ceremony on September 26
2.  Silent witness displays first two weeks of October
3.  Food, clothing, supply collection programs for local shelters first
two weeks of October
4. Collecting old cell phones for victims

*Thanks for this news, Adreena. The best to you in this effort. Keep up posted.

Jennifer, from the Crisis Center in Fremont, NE, wants to have copies of letters that any of you send to family members inviting them to be part of the Silent Witness project and asking for their support in using their loved one's story. Does anyone have letters that Jennifer could see or use??? Could you forward them to her as soon as possible? Her email is crisiscenter@qwest.net  Thanks.

Oregon:Amber Murray reports this October update from Oregon:
Just wanted to let you know that one of the Oregon Silent Witness Exhibits has about 5 events scheduled for October with people still calling to show them. A few of the events are a candlelight vigil on the Northern Oregon Coast and hopefully in some store fronts for a street re-opening in Eugene. Its all very exciting!

*Great to see all the energy that is moving through Oregon. Keep up the good work

Cheri Basehore is setting up an amazing event for October:
I am working with the liaison committee for Diane's Walk in Harrisburg, PA.  This event is scheduled for Sunday October 13, 2002 on City Island, Harrisburg, PA. The purpose of this walk is to raise public awareness of domestic violence.  The walk is named in memory and honor of Diane Wallower Brenisholtz who was murdered by her abusive husband on July 17, 2001.  Judy Walter of the local Silent Witness Program will dedicate Diane's silhouette at the walk.  All proceeds of the walk will go to the Harrisburg Area YWCA Domestic Violence Center.  We would be grateful if you would publish this upcoming event in your newsletter.  Thank you.

*Cheri, this march in honor of Diane will be so powerful. I wish I could be there to honor her. Let's pledge to eliminate DV homicides in her memory.

The Public Training Institute will be hosting a Youth Dating Violence Train-the-Trainer seminar on October 11, 2002 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. The facilitators are Mike McCarty, Director of P.T.I and one of the investigators that developed and implemented the Domestic Violence Unit in Nashville, Tennessee and Dan Hally, Captain with the Nez Perce Tribal Police in Lewiston, Idaho.  

The seminar will cover: recognizing stalking behavior, impact of witnessing domestic violence on children, defining dating violence, understanding dating violence, myths and realities of dating violence, recognizing signs of abusive behavior, date rape drugs and making the presentation.  For more information, contact Public Training Institute, 317-745-6946, Publictraining@aol.com or download a brochure at http://www.publictraining.com/upcoming.htm

*Thanks for the information. Dating violence is an issue that we all need keep up-to-date on.

Roy Vargus, our SW Coordinator in Wyoming wrote about this amazing idea. CHECK OUT THIS DIGITAL ARCHIVE IDEA.

Our silent witness display is once again on the move. It will be on display at the Wyoming State Fair during the month of August, and also at a domestic violence display and education program for young adults during the same month. In September, the Sexual Assault/Family Violence program in Uinta County, Wyoming will be using it in various areas of their county to heighten awareness of domestic violence.  
In October, the Uinta County SAFV will be host to the state's annual Silent Witness Memorial.  It will include the silhouettes being displayed in Ft Bridger Valley, escorted by law enforcement agencies to Evanston where the main memorial will be held.  Victims' families have been invited to attend and participate in both private and public activities.  There will be a fly-over by AF military jets at some point in the memorial, from Hill AFB, Utah.  

I will be happy to send you digital pictures of the event if you'd like. We have also completed a digital archive of photos from previous SW events in our state.  It will help show the history of the efforts in Wyoming, as well as help protect the originals from wear and tear.  The archive is contained on three disks, and copies can be sent to programs around the state to help with their outreach efforts. That's about it for now.  I hope this letter finds you happy and healthy.

*Great ideas, Roy. And the fly-over is phenomenal. I wish I could be there. This will be another first. I'm so glad I was there a few years ago for that powerful march and Native American Ceremony. And thanks for the little notes several of you add to the end of your letters. They make my day!!


Helping Silent Witness by purchasing from Amazon.com on our web site:
We've already gotten donations as a result of our Amazon connection to our site. Thank you.
You can allow Amazom.com to make a donation to Silent Witness just by connecting to Amazon  through our web site, www.silentwitness.net   We get a larger donation from them if you purchase DV books through our site. It is easy. You just click on the amazon box on any of the header pages of our site and the link will take you to an information page http://www.silentwitness.net/amazon.htm and then directly to the amazon.com web page focusing on DV books. You can order those books or go anywhere else on the Amazon site to order other things as well (music, magazines, books). Thank you for considering this pain free way to donate to Silent Witness.

Janet's travel plans for SW events:
This September I plan to visit Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina to meet, thank and plan with the SW coordinators from all parts of the state. Eli Moore is coordinating that visit. And in early October I am speaking to the NCJW session meeting in Danbury and hopefully connecting with other groups in CT as well as RI on that trip. It is such a privilege to get out to where the action is and to thank all of you for the wonderful work you do. Thanks for these opportunities to be among the angels of the world. If you live near these spots and would like to meet with me please let me know ASAP. Thanks.

Controversial study adds another dimension to the domestic violence discussion of causation:
This new gene study brings up some interesting information. If confirmed, it could have wide ranging effects on our movement.

By Ronald Kotulak Chicago Tribune science reporter  August 2, 2002

A gene that may help explain why some children exposed to violence, neglect and abuse become violent adults while others growing up in the same type of environment do not has been identified by University of Wisconsin scientists.The findings, reported Thursday in the journal Science, provide new evidence that genetic and environmental factors can interact to influence human behavior.

"This is part of the first wave of what will prove to be enormously interesting and incredibly controversial: the genetics of personality, behavior and social interactions," said Arthur Caplan, who is director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics.

Long considered to be a taboo subject, behavioral genetics has become the hottest area in the field. It not only challenges notions about determinism and free will but also raises questions about whether people should undergo genetic screening for behavioral traits and drugs should be used to counteract unfavorable genetic tendencies.

The gene discovered by the Wisconsin team makes a "housekeeping" enzyme called monoamine oxidase A that cleans up excess neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers that allow brain cells to communicate. Among them are serotonin, which is involved in depression and aggression, and dopamine, which regulates muscle movement and feelings of pleasure.

Children who grow up in homes that are psychologically, physically or sexually abusive were found to have a ninefold increased risk of becoming anti-social as adults if they had a low-performing version of the MAOA gene rather than a normal version.

Those who have the low-performing gene but are not exposed to maltreatment were not at higher risk, the researchers found. The 26-year study involved 442 male New Zealanders who were followed from birth.

"The findings suggest that the combination of low-activity MAOA and maltreatment predicts anti-social behaviors about as well as high cholesterol predicts heart disease," said Wisconsin's Terrie Moffitt, a member of the research team. "This suggests that the best strategy for preventing violence is to prevent child abuse."

The researchers also found the gene can have a protective effect. Boys who grow up in troubled homes but have normal or above-normal copies of the MAOA gene generally don't become criminals or aggressive, according to the study.

"These findings may partly explain why not all victims of maltreatment grow up to victimize others," Moffitt said. "Some genotypes [genetic variations] may promote resistance to stress and trauma."

If you would like to see the whole article from the Tribune, just email me and I'll forward it to you. jhagberg@mn.rr.com

I leave you today with a quote I got from a fortune cookie last week. It struck me as an appropriate thought for our international network as well as a wonderful metaphor.




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