August 31, 2001
It's Labor Day (Labour in Canada) weekend in the United States and Canada. As I look at the September calendar I see that the 15th is Respect for the Aged Day in Japan. I like that idea more and more every year!! And on the 16th it is Independence Day in Mexico. The next day starts the Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashanah and then Yom Kippur on the 26th. We are a worldwide organization and it is exciting to share ideas and hope around the world. We have heard from a few new countries this month about their desire to work with us.
On Labor Day, let us think of those who work, who labor to supply the world with food, goods and services. May we be grateful for them and for what they supply. I would like to add that there are thousands of you out there who work with Silent Witness, mostly without any financial remuneration. You work out of your passion and your desire to keep the stories of the Silent Witnesses alive. You work because you believe that we can heal this country of domestic violence. You work because you know that the Results projects make a big difference in your community. You work to heal your own story. I honor you. And I am grateful for all you do. I am proud to know you and to call you colleagues and friends. I hope to meet each one of you and thank you personally for all that you mean to me and to Silent Witness.
WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:
Jim Hartline (Pittsburgh. sponsoring a SW figure who was a friend), Lynn (Domestic Violence Service Center, Wilkes-Barre, PA, new exhibit), Jayne Ann Kita (Education Coordinator, Arkansas Coalition), Linda Terex (Asst. Director, Victim Services, Big Spring, TX, new exhibit), Brenda Stanfill (Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living, Fairbanks, new exhibit), Kerri Bangert (Exec. Dir., Arkansas Coalition, new email address), Hor Phally, Liz Giles (Program Against DV, Phnom Penh, Cambodia), Simuon Sin (Exec. Dir., Asian Women United of Minnesota), Susan Mundale (SW Board chair, new email address), Gail Waymire (Exec. Dir., CAVA, Founder Steuben Cty Coalition against DV, Angola, IN, new exhibit), Ruthie Mills (Victim Coordinator, Allen Correctional Institution, Lima, OH, new exhibit), Carol Vigil (Family Advocate, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, new exhibit), Jennifer Landhuis (Crisis Center for DV, Fremont, NE, new exhibit) Doug Larson (Womensafe Center,
STATES/COUNTRIES ON BOARD FOR OCTOBER SW EVENTS:
Please let us know if you are scheduling events as soon as possible and get us the details later. There are 24 states/countries on board:
Countries: Canada, Cayman Islands, Hungary, United States. States: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming.
NINE NEW SILENT WITNESS EXHIBITS (LAST SIX WEEKS):
Central MN Task Force on Battered Women; Commonwealth Attorney's Office, Leesburg, VA; HODAC's Victim Resource Center, Wilkes-Barre, Pa; Victim Services, Big Spring, TX; Allen Correctional Institution, lima, OH; Jemez Pueblo, Mew Mexico; Crisis Center for DV, Fremont, NE; Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living, Fairbanks, AK; Communities Against Violence and Abuse,
NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:
This brief but exciting note from Jayne Ann, who works at the Arkansas Coalition:
I am new here and am in the process of getting the details of the activities for October. The Silent Witnesses and the Clothesline project have been checked out EVERYDAY of the month but I do not know the details of the events. I will let you know more later.
*Jayne Ann, do you know what it means for your community to see the Silent Witness exhibit every day for a whole month. It will be amazing. Just watch and listen to the stories that come back.
Here's a wonderful note from Lois Herman, our international ambassador:
I am pleased to tell you that PADV, the Program Against Domestic Violence in Cambodia, wishes to be a part of our Silent Witness ListServe.
Hor Phally is the Executive Director and Liz Giles, Advisor of PADV Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The mission of PADV is to work to prevent, reduce, and eventually eliminate domestic violence in Cambodia, and to assist its victims and
their families. PADV has studied our Silent Witness web site and has reviewed Silent Witness previous newsletters. PADV and the Cambodian Ministry of Women's Affairs, have published the HOUSEHOLD SURVEY ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN CAMBODIA.
As a resource, training, and advocacy center, PADV's objectives are: *The recognition of domestic violence as a public policy priority.
*Increased public understanding and awareness to a level at which domestic violence is no longer treated as a private problem, but is
considered unacceptable and is resolutely denounced. *Increased ability of the public, service providers and key decision makers to understand and effectively address domestic violence. *The establishment of a professional network of services, which provides
quality assistance to victims and their families. *Increased level of assistance to women victims of domestic violence.
When I go on the mission to Cambodia in November, I will take PADV a VHS Silent Witness Video and the Silent Witness Books. As Asian Women United of Minnesota is exploring is creating a bilateral link on domestic violence with PADV, I want to be sure AWUM is also on
our Silent Witness List Serve: Sinuon Sin, Executive Director, Asian Women United of Minnesota
*A hearty welcome both to our colleagues at AWUM and to Hor and Liz in Cambodia. We are so excited to work with you, to learn from you and to share ideas and resources. Please let us know what we can do to be colleagues with you. Our arms are stretching around the world now and we are all holding hands. What an amazing network.
Gyorgyi Toth, who has worked tirelessly in Hungary, fills us in on their most recent activities:
The Hungarian Silent Witness exhibition organized by NANE Women's Rights Association was on display for a whole week during a Woodstock-like happening called the Pepsi Island. This is a week of musical and cultural
programmes, including an NGO-service village, so that the young and not-so-young visitors of the island get some exposure to social problems and activists who deal with them.
During the week, NANE shared a tent with three other organizations, one Lesbian and Gay NGO, a Lesbian NGO, an NGO for the physical self-determination rights of sexual minorities and women victims of violence. We made all of our flyers available to passers-by, and organized discussion groups on the following topics: sexual harassment, youth dating violence, trafficking in women, what can people do against
VAW, and child abuse.
Pictures of our tent (the white one with the rainbow flag and the witnesses) can bee seen at http://www.pride.hu , the first Hungarian web site for and about sexual minorities. Half way through on the left side of the opening page there is a picture of a man (one of the owners of the company organizing this yearly event) reading from the chest of one of the witnesses, the script says "Pepsi Sziget
Kepriportok". That is the entrance to the picture gallery of the Pepsi Island. Unfortunately it is in Hungarian only. However, our web site is soon to appear on the Internet, we'll make these pictures available there too.
*Please go look at this web site. Scroll down a bit and on the left side is the photo of the Silent Witnesses. It is so moving to see the Silent Witnesses speaking a universal language of truth and healing. Thank you,
Gyorgyi, for all your great work on this exhibit. A SW friend in Connecticut was traveling in Hungary a few years ago and took photos of your exhibit for us. It was the first that we knew you had created one. So we are thrilled that you are connected with us. More power to you.
Susan Fuller, our Maine SW coordinator sends this astounding note.
Tina Cousins is a Maine Silent Witness who took a trip on the SS Maine to Brazil. She went with one of our large corrugated plastic signs that offer the SW logo and the "Honoring Maine Women Killed in Acts of Domestic Violence" as a descriptor. Well, she is staying in Brazil and they are considering a Silent Witness project of their own. There have been reciprocal trips back and forth with folks within the Criminal Justice systems here and there.
The other very exciting event specific to Silent Witness is that we are presenting a workshop at the Regional Conference in RI. They have agreed to have as many silhouettes as we can muster - as the event is at the Convention Center. The workshop is called Community Programs: focussing on the Maine Silent Witness Project, the Domestic Violence Quilt, and the "SKIT".
*All this action, and the connection with another country is great. Please keep up posted on the exciting developments there. Isn't all of this almost overwhelming.
Bob Heskett, a colleague in MA writes:
We have established a new agency, incorporated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Family Nonviolence, Inc. Our mission is "to promote
dialog regarding a holistic approach to the reduction of domestic violence within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." We are planning a conference on "Thinking New Thoughts to Reduce Family Violence" to be held at the Southern New England School of Law in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, on October 8th. Our Keynote Speaker is Richard Davis, Ph.D., a retired lieutenant in the police department of Brockton, MA
who has written a book on "Domestic Violence: Facts and Fallacies." A part of our conference, through the involvement of Peace at Home, will be the exhibit of the Silent Witnesses who represent persons who have been murdered in 2001. For more information on the conference, persons can log onto our web site at
*Bob, this is great news and it sounds like a conference I'd like to attend. Please keep up posted on Davis' ideas so we can pass them along to others.
And this exciting note (with a super idea) from Peace at Home:
Peace at Home recently had an event where staff and volunteers rode all of the subway train lines with the witnesses from 8:00 am till noon. My fellow co-worker and I even got off at one point and went and had lemonade in a Peets Coffee Shop. My co-worker had leaned his witness right next to where people get their sugar and milk. You should have seen how many people read the witness as they stirred their drinks! We received a lot of curious looks and comments. It was very interesting to watch people's facial reactions as they read the story of a particular witness. Overall we had a very positive response. A couple of subway (T) police even complimented us on how important it was to raise awareness and how we were doing it. We even managed to hand out some of our handbooks, Domestic Violence: The Facts to people who started up conversations with us. We then set up the entire exhibit in the Boston Common so people who were walking by could view the exhibit. The visual was so amazing. It really drew people in to have the exhibit in such a big public place. We held a rally where we explained the history of Silent Witness and then we read the story of each individual who died in 2000 and thus far in 2001. At the end we held a moment of silence for the lives lost. It was a very powerful event.
The exhibit was also recently featured at the Haitian Domestic Violence Roundtable's Domestic Violence Forum at Roxbury Community College. It was
great to have the facilitator of the conference acknowledge the exhibit in her opening remarks and encourage everyone to take the time and read each of the stories. The keynote speaker, Marie Marthe
Saint-Cyr (E.D of Iris House in NY), also commented on the exhibit in her speech and how she herself had gone around and read each of the 29 stories. It was very moving and nice to hear the kind of effect this exhibit really has on people.
October Exhibit Dates for Massachusetts Silent Witnesses: October 1-5: Spanish American Center Leominster, MA; October 8: Family Non-Violence Inc. Fairhaven, MA; October 9-13: Boston Public Library Boston, MA; October 14-18: Womenıs Protective Services Sudbury, MA; October 18: Jamaica Plain Domestic Violence Providers Network Jamaica Plain, MA; October 19: Boston Common, Boston, MA; October 26: Codman Square Health Center Dorchester, MA; October 26 and 29: Neponset Health Center Dorchester, MA.
*What if every city with a subway took some of their Witnesses for a ride during rush hour one day (October18!) in October. What a statement that would make. Thanks for this great work. I haven't seen a SW figure on a subway since the March in Washington when several states got their Witnesses to the Washington Monument (our starting point) by subway. What a wonderful memory . Were any of you the ones who did that???
A St. Olaf college student named Sarah Sexton designed a senior art project that is amazing. Here is a description of it from a friend of hers: She made three pinatas -- you know, those Spanish party favors where you are blindfolded and try to hit them with a stick and break them open and candy spills all over. But in her case, she made them life-size mannequins of teenage women! She used her sisters as models. And her point was that with women, like pinatas, some people think you have to beat them to get at the treasure inside.
*Can you imagine how powerful this is to young women viewing it. thanks, Sarah, for a moving idea. Art has that way about it. It goes right past the head and down to the heart.
Rosalie McGill writes about their most recent SW event:
The New Jersey Battered Women's Services (JBWS) marked its twenty-fifth anniversary by dedicating two silhouettes to victims of domestic
violence, Lois Gilmore and Rita Asencio. Mrs. Gilmore was tracked down and killed by her estranged husband while she was at her hairdresser.
She has become the symbol of a new program initiated by JBWS called "Safe Circles". It is a community outreach program the goal of which is
to make available to every salon and every ob-gyn office a discrete information fold out pamphlet directed to women who may know, or may
themselves may be, victims of domestic violence. It allows the women to read about the services available to victims while they are in the safe circle of the familiar and comfortable surroundings of a hair salon or ob-gyn office. It is often within those environments where a woman can feel safe from the presence of her abuser. Packets of information about the program are available from JAWS (973) 267-7520 Ext. 124. There may soon be available a video of the dedication ceremony.
*Again, more wonderful and creative ideas coming out. Safe Circles sounds like a powerful program. Keep it up.
Deidra M. Bennett, the Victim Advocate at the Women's Center Transformation Project at Bowling Green State University writes this:
It has been an extraordinary summer here at BGSU, our program is getting established and I have been pretty busy as the victim advocate on campus (unfortunately). With classes back in session I am attempting to get a graduate assistant to help us create our very own Silent Witness display. I am going to speak in several classes and am sharing the vision for the project and hoping to recruit some volunteers to help.
*This is great work you are doing, Deidra. We hope to see photos of that Bowling Green exhibit this fall. Thanks so much.
NEWS FROM WORLDWIDE HEADQUARTERS:
The March to End the Silence video is now on our web site:
Yesterday I watched our march video on the web site and felt the same awe as I felt the day of the march. Please go see the video. All you need is at least 56K but faster computers show the video with incredible accuracy. What an amazing technology. The video appears
Jill Breckenridge's poetry is available on our web site for your use at October SW events. She is an award winning poet and one of the originators of SW. She has given permission for you all to use either of the two poems she wrote for us for Silent Witnesses' 10th Anniversary. The two poems are stunning. Go experience them for yourselves.
We need more up-to-date press clippings and press photos of the Silent Witnesses. Could you please remember to send us the clippings and photos from your October events. Be sure to get the press there. They love the exhibit and have been very good to us now for 10 years. Send to SW 20 N.E. Second St. Suite 1101 Minneapolis, MN 55413.
New SW exhibits: Username and Password
We are making the patterns for the SW figures and the SW logo available on the web site now to hasten the process for creation of new exhibits. We have had some trouble with the username and password so we have simplified them. Anyone who wants access can have the password. We just want to know who you are so we can welcome you and bring you into the network. New things always have a few glitches!!
Rose Mary Boerboom's Training Schedule, Self Mastery Treatment Model:
Please consider sending someone from your SW group to one of the upcoming workshops.
Minneapolis, MN: September 28, 2001. $75.00, one day. Reservations: send check to Janet
Montana: October 16 and 17 in Great Falls. No cost. Also May 8,9, 2002
Wyoming: Four training programs around the state in 2002
Rose Mary's treatment manual, called the Self Mastery Workshop, is now available. It has a thorough description of her program and lesson plans for a treatment group including handouts for the group members. She is willing to sell perusal copies but would recommend coming to a training since the principles in her model are different from what is taught in most men's treatment. You can add what she teaches to what you are already doing and she would be happy to talk with you about that. Cost of the manual is $40.00 (includes shipping). Order from Rose Mary,
Colleges, more colleges involved with Silent Witness.
The MA College Take Back the Night march involved several colleges; Simmons College headed up that event but others that helped to
participate were Berklee College of Music, University of MA-Lowell, Stonehill College, Wheelock College, Northeastern University, and Wentworth Institute of Technology
Restorative Justice and domestic violence:
The Restorative Justice community is moving slowly and judiciously to see if there are any times in which domestic violence cases would benefit from restorative justice while still protecting women. Here is a call for research. We will keep you posted on what the research center in Canada is learning.
Prince Edward Island's Restorative Justice and Violence Against Women Project
PEI's Restorative Justice Network, in partnership with other community and government organizations, has undertaken a project focussing on the use of restorative justice in cases of violence against women. The goal of the project is to ensure that women victims of violence are not re-victimized by justice, including restorative justice, options. One of the activities we are undertaking during the project is some research into other work completed or being done in the area of restorative justice and violence against women, including programs in place which use restorative justice in cases of violence against women, critiques of restorative justice from the perspective of violence against women and any publications or reports on the topic, in Canada as well as internationally. A compendium of the activities in this area will be compiled as a result. The research will be carried out between June and August, 2001.
If you have any information about programs, reports, projects, activities, etc. in this area, I would really appreciate hearing about them (even if all you have is an inkling of where a project might be taking place I can try to track it down), please contact:
Kirstin Lund Project co-coordinator email@example.com (902) 569-1894
Ladies' Home Journal article features a SW activist:
Nancy Rafi has been interviewed for an article about five passionate women for the December issue of Ladies' Home Journal. The article will include a photo of Nancy with the Rhode Island Silent Witnesses. This should be a great way for women who may not have been involved with SW to see how powerful this work is. Hurray for Nancy, who will represent us with competence and grace. Look for the article. And thanks to Diane di Costanzo for doing this powerful article.
Attention: Everyone who loves those miniature Silent Witness figures.
Here's how you get them: On our web site product page or directly through the NCJW Office in Pittsburgh. They are offering these cardboard statues for $40 per 100 statues which includes shipping and handling. Sheri Minkoff is the contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call the NCJW office at 412-421-6118.
I leave you today with a quote from a panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt:
"When I have walked to the edge of all the light I have known, and am about to step off into the unknown, Faith teaches me that one of two things will happen: either I will find a solid place on which to set my foot, or... I will learn to fly."
P.S. Please pardon the little glitches in the previous two newsletters. I have a new computer and I am experiencing a learning curve. It is all pilot
("janet") error, believe me.