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August 22, 2006

Dear Friends,

            Hello all! Unfortunately we have some sad news to share with this newsletter. Debbie Peterson who has been vital in the Silent Witness movement has passed away.

 Note about the death of a faithful Silent Witness activist, by Janet
Hagberg, former executive director.

Diane Peterson, who was one of our most faithful Silent Witness coordinators, died recently at her home in
Tucson , Arizona . A few years ago, her husband, John, died of lung cancer. They were a great team in their Silent Witness work both at the state and national level. We are so sorry to
lose them both in such a short time.

John and Diane started and coordinated the Vermont Silent Witness exhibit along with several other activists. The exhibit traveled all over
Vermont and Diane wrote me on several occasions about how powerful it was. Diane's brother helped cut out the original Vermont witnesses and she sent me photos of him painting them in their garage. It was a powerful experience for him to see these figures of women come to life as he cut the shapes and painted them red. Diane and John also helped other states in their region start their exhibits and they shared their experiences so others would be able to get started more easily.

In October of 1997, John and Diane helped bring the Vermont Witnesses to
Washington DC for the national Silent Witness March to End the Silence about Domestic Violence. Not only did they bring their witnesses, but they both spoke courageously to the crowd gathered at the march.  Diane told of her transformation from being a victim to being a survivor and now a victor. John spoke of his abusive behavior and how, through his recovery program and his work within Silent Witness, he was healing and becoming a better man. As he said those words, Diane was holding his hand on the podium. It took courage for both of them to speak. Their speeches had a tremendous affect on many in the audience and on many other people subsequently who heard them on the SW March video that was produced after the march.

Diane and John left
Washington and immediately left for Tucson where they were relocating. They got involved with the Arizona SW exhibit for several years before John was diagnosed with lung cancer. I visited them in Arizona during this time and they were both clear about how much their work within Silent Witness had changed their lives. We also know that their work within SW changed a lot of other people's lives as well. John's death was a blow for Diane but she vowed to keep going with her SW work. Unfortunately her own health problems kept her from doing very much after John died.

Diane and John were good friends of mine and of Silent Witness. I am proud to know them and to be part of their powerful life story. They had passion for healing relationships. They were especially interested in treatment programs for men that had been proven successful. John was planning to get trained in working with men when he was diagnosed with his cancer. We created an award called the John Peterson award, after John's death, that was given to the state or city that made the most progress on successful treatment programs for men.

Diane's family have asked that memorials for her go to Silent Witness. The SW board will discuss what will be the use of the money given Diane and John's values and their commitments. Anyone who wants to send money in honor of Diane can do so by mailing it (with a note to that affect) to Karen Hartz 9447 Marshall Rd. Eden Prairie, MN 55347


1.         We need to make a new database with the names of the women you are using in your exhibits. PLEASE help us with this, we would really appreciate it. I have attached a questionnaire about your exhibit. We would like to make a database so that when people would like to start an exhibit we already have the names of people to use and if the state coordinators change we will have a central location for the database. We would also love to be able to tell family members when they talk to us if their names are being used and where they are used. Thank you in advanced for you help. We really appreciate it!!

            I would love for you to send me updates on where you are displaying the silhouettes and other ways you are making a difference and ending domestic homicide! Please email me any stories or press releases that you have! I love to add them to the newsletter!

2. There is new and easy way to raise money for Silent Witness just by searching the Internet with

It's simple. You use like any other search engine — the site is powered by Yahoo! — but each time you do, money is generated for Silent Witness.

Last year, search engines generated close to $6 billion in revenue from advertisers. With GoodSearch part of this advertising revenue will now be directed to Silent Witness.

We hope that not only will you use GoodSearch as your main search engine from here on out, but will also pass this message on to your friends and family. The more people who use this, the more money will go to Silent Witness.

I would like to welcome our new newsletter subscribers:

Juliet     Nail from MN

Michelle Roberts from Cincinnati OH

Karie     Maurer-Enneking from Sidney      OH

Janet    Nelson  from Grand Forks AFB   ND

Rachelle Hill from West Valley City          Utah

Ruth Barclay from Fort Bridger    WY

Martha Rabon from Lakeville       MN

Sunny   Slaughter from Birmingham          AL

Katina   Colbert  from Murphy       NC

Michele Daly                 

Nickie   Lindom  from Clearwater   MN

Katie     Callahan from    MA      

Paula    Rucket             

Shel      Anderson                      

Leah     Bleich   Peoria    IL

We now have an official job description:

The state coordinator keeps track of who in the state have exhibits. Some coordinators have regular correspondence, usually by email, with the groups. They are the contact person for someone who would like to start a new exhibit. They share the shield stories they already have in order to help people not repeat the work that was already done. Some may recruit new SW exhibits as well. Some may coordinate the donating and borrowing of an exhibit for people to use across the state. Some sponsor an event in October for everyone to come to, but others just publicize the events of others. They also keep in touch with us by email or phone to let us know what is happening, keep us up on emerging issues, ask for advice or other things they needed. This may take two to three hours a week in email correspondence. During busier times it may be up to four or five hours.

As you can see we still need many more coordinators! I know that there are people who help and loan exhibits across the state automatically so it would be great to get the information out there for everyone.



From Linda Williamson:

We held our lst Speak Out Against Domestic Violence @ the Northgate Mall here in Lafayette , LA. It was sponsored by the Avon Foundation and Angels of Mercy taking a stand and not be silent! Prizes were given away along with information about the Avon 's Foundation taking a stand with us for they opened the first Family Justice Center in New York City . It was awesome and they are determined to do it again! We will empower our community about domestic violence for it is on the rise here! We also had our Silent Witnesses with us!

We held an event at the Imani Temple #49 African Catholic Church with the Avon Foundation. It was a success! We are still bringing awareness of domestic violence. We also have a Certificate of Appreciation to give to ladies. We are having another event on Saturday, August 19, 2006  with the Avon Foundation.

World NEWS:

From the CAPEV update:

It’s finally hereCAEPV is pleased to announce the release of a report to inventory the various ways private companies are utilizing workplace programs to prevent intimate partner violence. Part of a seven month-long study, CAEPV has been working with RTI International to identify and detail workplace programs throughout the United States through a contract funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We are honored to have been able to assist RTI in this CDC-funded project to develop an inventory of workplace programs to address intimate partner violence, and we congratulate the many CAEPV companies that participated in the inventory!

This project was developed with the intention of subsequent information initiating continued evaluation of the impact of programs and their level of cost-effectiveness for companies. It is anticipated that the compiled statistics will benefit not only employees and their safety, but will provide guidance on the most effective use of time and money by the employers as well. RTI International researchers anticipate that this will be a helpful and important tool for both understanding and addressing intimate partner violence (IPV) and its impact on the workplace.

While many companies have instituted policies, procedures, and activities to address intimate partner violence issues in the workplace, these efforts have never before been systematically documented. Although the inventory is not intended to be exhaustive in current workplace efforts to address IPV, it is a first step to collecting more information about the current status of Workplace Intimate Partner Violence interventions and will be a valuable resource for employers and organizations committed to IPV prevention.

Intimate partner violence is a significant public health problem in the United States and has detrimental effects to individuals, families, and society. The release of this inventory is truly an encouraging and constructive development for IPV prevention nationwide.

To view the inventory on the CAEPV website (the only place it is currently available), visit


Prince George ’s County, MD - A Prince George 's County judge accused of misconduct has informed Governor Robert Ehrlich that he plans to resign from the bench on August 4.

District Judge Richard A. Palumbo was expected to face a public hearing into allegations that he made disparaging remarks to and about women who sought protective orders in domestic cases. A woman involved in one of those cases was critically burned by her estranged husband after one such protective order was dismissed.

Palumbo, 67, cited health reasons for his retirement and stated his intention to step down on August 4. "The decision to retire was made at the urging of my longtime personal physician and my family members - all of whom are aware of the heavy toll the stress of the past year has had on my health," he wrote. Palumbo's departure could suspend actions by the Maryland State Commission on Judicial Disabilities, which scheduled a misconduct hearing into the allegations against the judge for August 28. The commission was expected to review allegations that Palumbo violated judicial standards in several cases.

One of the charges against Palumbo stems from events that occurred in his courtroom before the attack on Yvette Cade last October. During a September 19, 2005 hearing, Cade told Palumbo that Roger Hargrave, her estranged husband, repeatedly violated a protective order she'd obtained from the court.  A recording of the court hearing released last October included a four-minute exchange between Cade and the judge in which she told Palumbo that Hargrave had contacted her, intimidated her daughter and other members of her family and vandalized the property of others.

"My husband is trying to stall our divorce," Cade told Palumbo, who suggested that she get a lawyer and go to family court to get a divorce. When Cade said she had no money for a divorce lawyer, Palumbo advised her to seek help from the House of Ruth, a domestic violence program that had represented her in the past. "Go back and ask them how to handle it," Palumbo said. He told her he had "to be independent like an umpire," before concluding the hearing. He later signed a decree rescinding the protective order, but has since blamed that action on an administrative error.

Less than a month after the hearing, Hargrave went to Cade's workplace, doused her with gasoline and set her on fire. Cade, 32, spent 92 days in the hospital recovering from burns over 65 percent of her body. She still faces additional surgery and therapy as a result of the attack.

Hargrave, 34, was convicted in April of 2006 of attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and assault. He was sentenced in June to life in prison.  Cade said Friday that she was disappointed by Palumbo's decision to retire before having to answer the allegations she has raised about his conduct on the bench.

"It's a shame that he can collect his retirement while I've been taken out of the work force for many years to come, and I'm losing out on my pension to support me and my daughter," Cade told The Post. "Him being off the bench is not enough." Palumbo has been hospitalized twice this year for a heart problem, and is now taking more medication, his attorney, William Brennan, told The Post. Palumbo's doctor recommended that he retire to reduce his stress, Brennan said. Within days of the October 2005 attack on Cade, Palumbo was reassigned to administrative duties. Subsequent complaints reported to the judicial commission included allegations that he showed bias against women with limited English skills who sought protective orders from his court.

Palumbo has served on the bench since 2001. He is a former member of the Maryland General Assembly and a real estate investor.  (Sources:  The Washington Post and Associated Press)

If you could know what I know now
You would not cry...
For I have found, to my surprise, we do not die
We only slip into a new and fresh reality,
Like taking off old worn-out clothes
And being free.
If you could see what I see now
You would not grieve...
For God is real and all is love,
So please believe
I see you now as I have never seen before,
And I will love you always, only more.
If you could feel what I feel now
You would be free...
For peace and joy are what we have eternally.
So dry your tears and know that I am with you still.
I loved you so....I always will.


Cassie Pritchard


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