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Newsletter for Sept. 1st. 2000

Dear Friends,

I  had a great trip to Ohio last week visiting most of the Silent Witness angels and their collaborators. I'll highlight the week in the National Headquarters section. But I want to thank everyone who made my trip a great experience. I loved being face to face with all the people I write about in the newsletter. And everyone is doing such great work. It is amazing. I came home really awed by all the creativity and the commitment.

Just a note to those of you who are in fire country this summer. We send you our wishes for your safety and full recovery. Please know that the rest of the country is thinking about you.

Be sure to check out the details of the training session in Montana and Rhode Island and the SW Steering Committee Meeting in Montana in the National Section of the newsletter.



Penni Micca (DV shelter advocate in the Manchester Police Dept, Manchester, Connecticut), Jill Vessels, Gabriela Fulco (Director, Center for Assistance for Victims of Family Violence, Montevideo, Uruguay), Tonya Lovelace (Casewatch, Artemis Center, Dayton), Donna Gardner (Adult Program Director, Artemis, Dayton), Sharon Reichard (Director, Center for the PRevention of Family and Community Violence, Columbus), Judith Sheehan (Witness Victim Service Center, Cleveland), Carol Keehn (Girl Scouts, Cleveland), Cindy Pisano (DV Program Coordinator, Unison Behavioral Health Group, Toledo), Rebecca Nichols (Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, Toldeo), Katie Bush (Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, Toledo), Kay Anderson (CEG, Toledo), Gabrielle Davis (Univ. of Toledo, College of Law Legal Clinic) Missy Witker (Univ. of Toledo, College of Law, intern), Tonya Robinson (Toledo Legal Aid Society).





We just got word that Delaware will have an October event with their Silent Witness exhibit. Paulina Gyan reports that they will have a remembrance vigil at a local United Church on October 15th.

*This is wonderful news. Vigils are such an effective use of the Silent Witnesses. Thanks for the hard work Delaware.


Geri Haynes in Sarasota has wonderful news to report:

This summer, Judge Nancy K. Donnellan and the Family Violence Task Force were recognized as a finalist for the 2000 Governor's Peace at Home Award in the Justice System category. Our local shelter, SPARCC, was a finalist in the Survivor Services category. Although we didn't win the award, the recognition was truly rewarding.

Our local Zonta Club (professional business women's service organization) donated funds to cover the costs of two more silhouettes, as well as agreed to provide funding for an annual Business Leaders' Breakfast in the Spring of 2001. (We provide education and Human Resources tools to community businesses to help them provide safe workplaces.)

*Geri, this is great news. Your task force has done such a good job with Silent Witness and with so many other activities in Sarasota. Go for it.



You asked us to tell what exhibits are happening in October. Our 40 witnesses will be divided into groups of ten for October events, because there is such a demand for them. So far, they are scheduled at shelters Sarah's Inn, Uptown Hull House, the Chicago Dep't. of Public Health, theIllinois Attorney General's Office, The AAUW Take Back the Night, Mc Henry College, the YWCA. We expect more bookings in the next month. In August, they were featured in a walk, "Step Out to Stop Abuse" which was sponsored by the Chicago Abused Women Coalition and benefitted 9 DV organizations.

*Wow, this is a lot of traveling.  The Witnesses keep telling their stories. I don't think anyone could silence them now. Great work Cindy and company. I'll see you all when I visit there in September.


Rosemary Raiman sent a lovely note and photos of Silent Witness activists in Maryland:

Thank you for your monthly newsletter and for the invitation and opportunity to share some thoughts for your September celebration with the founding mothers and board. I took the opportunity to send you a short note .....it's in the mail. Fern and I will update you with our plans for Charles Counties October Silent Witness ideas after I return from vacation in September.

*We really appreciate the kind words and the greetings for our Founding Mothers party in September and for the news that you are planning something for October.



Carolina O'Farrell from Mexico write this wonderful news. WOW.

"I have received the Silent Witness video that you sent me. Thanks to Lois Herman. It really makes a powerful statement and we are searching for the way to translate it, as well as trying to create a similar movement in 10 Mexican cities in different states this October. As Lois has told you, with a lot of work I founded an organization dealing with the prevention of family violence, we have three offices and have helped more than 13,000 people during the 5 years we have been in existence. We will celebrate our 5 years this November. I hope that you can send me more material. Warmest regards and God Bless you and your Organization."

*This is fabulous news. I'm so elated to have such a great connection in Mexico. And they might send two people to the steering committee meeting and training in Montana in October.



Lauren Comai, the new coordinator for the Jr. League of Ann Arbor Silent Witness program writes:

Hi Janet - I replaced Nancy Mooney as the chair of the Ann Arbor, Michigan Junior League Dating Violence Prevention committee. We're in the planning stages for our October programs for the Silent Witnesses. I'm trying to hook up with other organizations in the Michigan area so that we can collaborate on our efforts.

Do you have any other contacts in the Michigan area that has informed you of October events?

Thanks for you help, and your newsletter has been a great source of information for us!

*Thanks, Lauren, and welcome to the network. Is there anyone else in Michigan planning an exhibit event??? Please let us know.



James Brown, with the Cincinnati Police sent us this follow up on the lethality assessment for batterers.



  1. Feelings of "Ownership" of the Woman - Woman regarded as property.
  2. "Centrality" to the woman - Idolizing extreme dependence.
  3. Separation from the Woman - This is an extremely dangerous time when the perpetrator makes the decision to kill.
  4. Fantasies of Homicide or Suicide.
  5. Threats of Homicide or Suicide - In the guise of fantasizing "who, how , when, and whether to kill".
  6. Weapons Owned by the Perpetrator - Has threatened or has used them in the past (the use of guns is a strong predictor of homicide).
  7. Dangerous Behavior Increases - In degree with little regard for legal or social consequences.
  8. Repeated Calls to the Police - Prior history of domestic violence.
  9. Depression - Mood swings, emotionally upset, inability to concentrate.
  10. Hostage Taking - Contain vs. control.

NOTE: Predictors of Lethality holds true for adult heterosexual couples and homosexual couples.

It is essential that Law Enforcement Agencies, Advocates, Counselors, and the Criminal Justice System Carefully plan and establish Lethality Assessment Review Committees.

*Thanks Jim, for this valuable information. It is so helpful for groups who are planning fatality review teams around the country.


Tommi Drake of Rogue Community College in Grants Pass writes about their new Silent Witness exhibit:

The exhibit will be showcased in early October. 'Witnesses' silhouettes are being created of local women, one man and one child who have died due to domestic abuse. This exhibit is in conjunction with several local agencies and will be held at the Fire House Gallery, Rogue Community College. Thank you for your response, time and efforts in this excellent cause.

*We are so pleased to hear that another community is involved with Silent Witness. Welcome to the network, Tommi.


Rhode Island will have another new Silent Witness exhibit. This one will be sponsored by the YWCA of Northern Rhode Island. One of their board members was a friend of one the Silent Witnesses and she will be the first Witness sponsored. Nancy Rafi reports that they now have five exhibits in the smallest state. What a tribute to hard working people all over Rhode Island.

Nancy writes: 

This will make a total of 5 projects in little Rhode Island- the original is at Sojourner House in Providence, ours is in Newport, The Univerisity of Rhode Island's is in Kingston, Salve Regina University's is on their Newport campus, and now the YWCA of Northern Rhode Island will have one in Woonsocket! We a are small, but mighty state!

*A small but mighty state indeed. We always look forward to the creativity of RI in our efforts.


We just got word through a Serbian friend of Silent Witness who is studying and working here in the states that Belgrade has been connected with the Silent Witness European efforts for some time now. We look forward to the time that they can make their own Silent Witness exhibit. And we'll try to get connected to them by email if we can. Welcome to our friends in Serbia.


Bonnie Lindscott, a family advocate for the Navy in Seattle writes:

We caused so much "awareness" last year with the Silent Witness display at our Naval Air Station that people have begun asking what we are going to do this year to raise awareness.

We received the pictures and instructions for assembling the Murder Meter and have bought all of the supplies and are ready to start building. (The information provided was very exact and extremely helpful.) We will display the Meter at various locations during the month and highlight it at our lunchtime Walk and Talk -- Keep Your Relationship Fit and Healthy; an activity for spouses/partners. I'll let you know what kind of response we get.

*We're thrilled that people are requesting more visibility for Silent Witness!! And the murder meters are just the thing. Thanks go to Joanne Coghill who put together the model and those terrific instructions. We may even get them up on the web before long. YES.






Please continue to send us your stories or memories or just a simple thank you for inclusion at the Silent Witness Founder's party. We've heard from several of you and it is so moving to read your memories of what Silent Witness has meant to you or your reflections of the March or your state's events. Just email to hagbe003@tc.umn.edu



Rhode Island 2-Day Training Program for Perpetrators: Newport, RI, October 18-19

The Rhode Island SW Program is sponsoring Dr. Steven Stosny and the Compassion Based Treatment model that is so successful with perpetrators. Dr. Stosny will be featured on both 20/20 and 48 Hours this fall. Cost: $50 Contact: Nancy Rafi, nrafi@afford.com

Steering Committee Meeting: Helena, Montana, Oct. 24-25.

We will highlight the Owning Up Program for adolescents, presented by Rosalyn Wiseman.

We will also summarize the successful therapy programs for Survivors, presented by Rosemary Boerboom. This is a great way to get two program ideas that can change your state. cost: $40 Contact: Judy Miller at msdatahound@aol.com to hold a spot.

Accommodations are either at the Holiday Inn in downtown Helena (where the steering committee will be held) $65 single $71 double. Prices held until October 1. Tell them you are with Silent Witness. Or you can stay a few miles away at the Jorgenson's Holiday Motel for $45. Call the hotels directly for reservations. Jorgenson's number is 406-442-1770 and Holiday Inn is is 406-442-The Steering Committee starts on Oct. 24 for dinner. We have reservations at the Holiday Inn dining room for 5:30. See you there. Your check to Silent Witness for $40 is your reservation for the steering committee meeting. Mail to: 20 Second St. Suite 1101 Mpls, MN 55405

Montana Training Program for Perpetrators: Helena, Montana, Oct. 26-27

Montana SW program is presenting a new and exciting treatment program for perpetrators called "Self Mastery" lead by Rosemary Boerboom, a psychologist, a Silent Witness Treatment mentor and an expert in successful perpetrator programs. See paragraph above for accommodations. Cost: $60 if you reserve a spot by October 15, $70 after that. Training will be held at the Law Enforcement Academy. Directions will be sent or emailed to you. Contact: Jerri Miller jerrim@state.mt.us



These states have announced plans for SW activities in October since the last newsletter: Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois, Alaska. That makes 19 states. We just have 31 to go. Let's move forward on this together. Please let us know if your state is planning a Silent Witness presence at events in October. You will be called by our stellar team of recruiters in the next few weeks!!



I had a fabulous trip to Ohio and everyone there showed me the utmost hospitality. Here is a brief synopsis of the trip. First I want to thank the Jr. Leagues all over Ohio for starting Silent Witness there and for handing it off to other groups who are moving it forward. It has been a fine example of a truly collaborative effort.

Cleveland: I met with the collaborative group that plans events, houses the Witnesses and does extraordinary work in the DV field in Cleveland. The energy was apparent. Present were Julie Steck and Aggy Nagy (Jr. League, the coordinators), Carol Keehn (Girl Scouts, who house the Witnesses and do programming around DV with their leaders), and Judith Sheehan (all kinds of direct service work). The Ursuline Sisters are very active as well, running the March and Vigil in October. The Archdioses in Cleveland is putting together a handbook on DV. Thanks to all these women who are doing such exemplary work.

Elyria: I met with Justine Freeman who is a victim advocate in the Elyria Municipal Court. They have 19 Silent Witnesses coordinated by the Safe Harbor Shelter (Marilyn Zeidner). They also have a modified court watch program. We had a great lunch and it was wonderful to get off the freeway for a break to meet with Justine. Thanks for all your hard work and keep up the great effort.

Toledo:  In Toledo I had a very full day. The morning was filled with the meeting of the DV Task Force and the VAWA Committee Meeting. Mary Alice McKone (Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center) was my fabulous hostess. What a lot of activity is going on in Toledo. The Task Force meeting (at 7:30 in the morning!!) attracted more than 30 people representing all parts of the community: police, judges, advocates, lawyers, educators, doctors and health related practitioners, interns, Junior Leaguers, and the YWCA. It was very exciting to meet people with such enthusiasm about community coordination. And I found out about an in-home counseling program for survivors that has only an 11% drop rate and is quite successful. We'll be anxious to hear more from Cindy Pisano about that one.

In the afternoon I met with Mary Ann Ossman-Booker who works for Adalante, a family violence program serving Caucasian and Hispanic families. Mary Ann has done incredible things within the community and organizes a march with the Silent Witnesses each year in this community. This year one of the women who started the SW exhibit in Toledo, Judy Barnard will be the speaker at the march.

Columbus: I had a whirlwind visit in Columbus, first to the office of Sharon Reichard and her associate Nancy Cobus who run the Governor's Center for the Prevention of Family and Community Violence. They are busy in so many different arenas and we had a great discussion about possibilities for the future. We're hoping to see them at the training program in Montana!! Then off to visit Choices, the women's advocacy program run by Gail Heiler. I was impressed with the breadth of their programs. Her program officer, Sandy met with us along with Nancy Neylon of the Ohio Coalition (who is also a BIG baseball fan!). There is so much dedication in this state, it is awesome. And if you haven't been to the German Village for lunch, put this on your travel schedule when in Columbus!!

Dayton: Another full day of visiting programs with my host Patrick O'Donnell. He and his wife Joey coordinate the SW exhibit in Dayton and they invited me to stay in their home while I was there. It provided a restful end to my trip. They are the professional videographers who just finished the 8 hour training tape for Coordinated Community Response Training called City of Shelter. It is already seeing results only a few weeks after release. And it is wonderful. You can order it from them at odonnell@donet.com Their associate, Becky Garvin is also vitally involved with Silent Witness in Dayton.

Patrick and I visited Artemis, an advocacy program and we were taken on a tour by Donna Gardner. They have several exciting programs there including a Casewatch in the courts, lead by Tanya Lovelace. Then off to the YWCA shelter to see the inside of a shelter. Sheryl Bowe showed us around and inspired us with their new room designs. A big thanks to all who made me feel so welcome. It was inspiring to see all the hard work and commitment. And thanks to Alan Pippenger, President of Requarth Lumber who donated all the wood for the Dayton SW exhibit and to Walt, the owner of Mail Boxes Etc. who donates the plaques. Oh, and I got to see the stadium for the minor league baseball team, the Dayton Dragons. They have huge dragons lurching above the score board. Yes.




The Jr. League is putting together a Centennial book and they are wondering how many leagues participated in the March in Washington in 1997. This is the list of the Leagues I think were involved but if you have more information, for instance, if some of these folks were not there or others were please contact me (Janet) as soon as possible. Thanks.

The ones I'm pretty sure of I will star (*).

Alabama (Jane George was involved but I don't know for sure if she was at the march. She's from Birmingham) Arizona (Karen Kotalik was involved from Phoenix but I'm not sure if she was at the march or not) *California Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Monterey, Oakland-East bay, Statewide SPAC *Indiana Granger *Kentucky Louisville, Lexington, Owensboro *MichiganAnn Arbor *Minnesota St. Paul, Minneapolis *Nevada Reno New Jersey Orange's and Short Hill's*New York N. Westchester County, Bronxville, Syracuse, Brooklyn *North Carolina Asheville, Gaston County, Greensboro, Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, High Point, Wilmington, Winston-Salem*Ohio Columbus, Youngstown, Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton, Cincinnati *Oklahoma Lawton *Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg *Tennessee Johnson City, Nashville Texas Arlington, Houston, El Paso, Plano West Virginia Vienna, Charleston


ARTIST JANE EVERSHED to create a commemorative painting and poster for Silent Witness' 10th Anniversary:

A well known artist specializing in women's issues, Jane Evershed, has heartily agreed to create a commemorative painting and poster for Silent Witness' 10th Anniversary. This will be ready for February, the month we debuted the exhibit in the state capitol in St. Paul back in 1991. So get ready. This one will be framable. I walked into Artemis, the advocacy organization in Dayton, Ohio on my recent trip there and one of Jane's posters was on the wall. Very compelling, vivid colors, poignant messages. On of her posters has a woman leaping over a deep gorge. Another has women from all over the world eating around a large table. It is called First Supper. More information on this as we get closer to the finished product.



Durwood Lassiter makes Silent Witness figures for groups around the world now. He is just making the SW figures for the JR. League of London. He is a great guy and does this work in addition to his regular job because he is so committed to Silent Witness. So a hearty thanks to Durwood.



I leave you today with a short but pithy quote.

"The courage to grow is noticed by the Universe."






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