August 9, 2002
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
WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:
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,
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!!
NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:
Geri Haynes, our former SW Coordinator in Sarasota writes this
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
*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
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
Nebraska: WE NEED YOUR HELP!!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 email@example.com 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
NEWS FROM WORLDWIDE HEADQUARTERS:
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
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,
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
"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
If you would like to see the whole article from the Tribune, just email me
and I'll forward it to you. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
THE SUN IS ALWAYS SHINING SOMEWHERE.