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September 14, 2001


Dear Friends,

My heart is heavy as I write this newsletter. There is so much death, so much sadness, so much violence, so much anger. My heart goes out to the families, the workers, the residents of  NY and Washington, to those stranded in cities away from their loved ones, to all people in our country and to people all over the world who were not involved in this attack and are grieving with us. I pray long and hard these days for cool heads to prevail and for us to find a way into a peaceful future for our world. My pledge is to be a non-anxious presence in the world. What might your pledge be?

We are an initiative that knows about death and murder and grief. We know that violence is real. And we have come to see over the last several years that healing is possible as well. I hope that in the coming weeks and months you will carry what you have learned from being part of Silent Witness into the rest of your life. Carry hope and healing, fortitude and compassion. Help each other. Reach out. Don't cancel October events. Stand up and speak for the Silent Witnesses. Ask for the country to heal, and for the world to heal. That's what our Silent Witnesses would want, don't you think?

United Way of New York's September 11th Fund is the appropriate place for any money you feel the urge to donate. You can send donations to: The September 11th Fund United Way New York City 2 Park Avenue New York, NY 10016

I read a wonderful quote yesterday in a book about family dynamics. The quote just happened to be about healing and survival. "Healing and survival depend on vision; hope; imaginative capacity; the ability to transcend the anxiety around us; and on a response to challenge that treats crises as opportunities for growth." Edwin Friedman in Generation to Generation.

Laurie Ramirez (Peace Initiative, Texas), Nancy Hunter (BPW, Lee's Summit, MO), Jennifer Schlick (Homesafe), Bernice Bennett (Elizabethtown Community College, Elizabethtown, KY), Janis Brown (Great Lakes Naval Training Center, IL), Liz Austin (DV and SA Coalition, Grass Valley, CA), Rosemary Raiman (Maryland, new email address), Paula Van Doren (Beach Cities Health District, Redondo Beach, CA), Claire Sheppard (Mother of a Silent Witness, Richmond, VA), Jo Manson ( SW coordinator, VA, new email address).

Please let us know if you are scheduling events as soon as possible and get us the details later. There are 28 states/countries on board: Countries: Canada, Cayman Islands, Hungary, United States. States: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming. 


This amazing note from Barbara Arnold, who is a physician with vision:

I have been invited to give the topic "Beyond Appearances - Victims We Might Not Recognize." This is at the annual community presentation by our Sacramento Health care Providers Domestic Violence Network on September 29. I will address the often not talked topic about violence in the homes of professional, dentists, physicians, and other more highly educated groups who seem to be involved in these situations in the same frequency as others who live without their higher income partners, and perhaps live with an opportunity to reveal their plight more easily than someone from the professional community. I will also discuss the at risk daughters from these professional families, a generation who may be learning choices from the non-verbal clues of relationship behavior demonstrated by their parents.

When friends in the California Medical Association Alliance knew of my topic, they asked me to present at their state convention, an event that brings the presidents and president-elect officers of the various county medical society "Alliances" throughout the state. One of their members, a registered nurse and a spouse of an ophthalmologist who saw the Silent Witnesses on exhibit at out Women in Ophthalmology sponsored exhibit in Orlando, Florida, told her colleagues in the Alliance about the effectiveness of this exhibit, and has requested that I try to locate the California Silent Witnesses and see if we can obtain a group of at least 4 Witnesses for the Alliance state wide meeting being held in Sacramento, CA on September 21 and 22, 2001. I have been told that the Witnesses were on exhibit in the California Capitol several years ago, but this would be the first time to have them for a meeting of the CMA Alliance, many of whom work in their spouses medical practices and may be in a good position to gather critical medical histories or help with intervention and proper information on referral resources.

*Isn't this amazing. Whatever field we work in there is an opportunity to heal. Healing is everywhere we go these days and each person who is touch by a Silent Witness is in our healing field. Thank you Barbara for this wonderful work from the inside out, as we say.

And this great message from Paula Van Doren, at Beach Cities Health District, about a new Silent Witness exhibit in Redondo Beach:

A group of agencies dealing with domestic violence issues have gathered together to sponsor a Domestic Violence Awareness Month each October.
This is our third year. Our agency would like to have our own set of silhouettes made so that they can be used by the various agencies
throughout the year. 

*This is very exciting, to think of all the Silent witnesses exhibits we have in California and many other states. Many of the states are localizing their exhibits by making SW figures for each region of the state. Thank you all for this fine effort.

Yet another college exhibit in the making. Here's a note from Heather Brantner.
Hi, I am in charge of coordinating Domestic Violence Awareness Month on the campus of University of Maryland, Baltimore County. A few years ago, while at another college, I first got to see the Silent Witness Displays and was so moved and impressed by their impact that I wanted to bring them to my new school. 

*We got her the information about the Maryland exhibit and we hope that she is off and running with it. We are so grateful for our enthusiastic young women and men on campuses all across the country. More power to you.

Adreena Harley of Troy, Michigan thanks you for your assistance and send us this note:

Also, I wanted to update you on the DV activities at our hospital for October. Our DV committee is in the process of creating 14 silent witness figures. We are planning a commemoration ceremony on Friday September 28 and are inviting both hospital leaders and staff, community leaders and any families that we have been able to contact. Will follow with display of figures at each of our facilities, along with collection program for the community shelters (food, household supplies, toiletries, clothing, cell phones). Hope to have media coverage for all events. Found a great DV drama from one of your subscribers. We will be using it as a staff awareness training later in October.

Thanks to all your readers for their great thoughts and ideas!

*See what a great network you all are. I love this. It shows how valuable we are to each other.

Tracy Lakatua, our SW activist in Missoula, writes this exciting news:

The University of Montana will be using the MT Silent Witnesses in connection with their Take Back the Night events this year. (I believe they have used them over the past several years...) In addition, the state witnesses will be displayed at the first Montana Women's Expo which is going to be held in Montana starting October 7.

The Missoula witnesses are being built by the men of Phi Delta Theta at the University of Montana beginning next week as part of their recruitment program. I think it's wonderful that they are highlighting their service work to incoming freshman. More to follow!

* I just love that fraternities are getting involved with creating Silent Witness exhibits. This is the second one to have such close involvement that we know of. Thanks Tracy, for this effort.

New Jersey:
This wonderful story from Eve Hook, coordinator of the Middlesex County Silent Witness exhibit:
After participating in the National March and Conference in DC, a small group of women from the Middlesex County Coalition of Crisis Intervention Teams were so deeply moved by the Silent Witness Initiative that we decided, since the state exhibit represented each of our 21 counties in New Jersey, the we would like to honor the women in Middlesex County as well. We worked very diligently that year building, researching, networking, etc.. As a result, this year we will be presenting our 5th Annual Silent Witness Exhibit at Rutgers University on October 1, 2 and 3. In addition to our annual exhibit we provide a traveling exhibit throughout the entire year. Our traveling exhibit has been displayed at 3 different Rutgers Campuses, numerous hospitals, social service agencies, Fort Dix (a military base), and our state Capitol during a legislative session.

I am in the process of updating our press release for this year and will send it out to you as soon as possible. It has been an overwhelming 5 years with our sisters and 5 of their families. This year we will be adding a figure of a male and a child. Each year as well, the statistics in New Jersey are decreasing. I sincerely hope that our effort has played a part in this. We, of course, will continue in our efforts to eliminate all violence. I could go on forever...I must tell you that everyone who has participated on our Silent Witness Committee over the last 5 years, whether for an hour or for many, has done so with deep passion and commitment. 

*Just think of all the lives the Silent Witnesses have transformed. And you just keep on making that happen like a river of healing. Keep up the good work.

This moving note from a survivor and the mother of a murdered woman:
My name is Claire Hylton Sheppard and I am extremely interested in your SW program. I am currently employed by the Hanover Domestic Violence Task Force at the Resource Center in Ashland, VA. I am a survivor of DV and sad to say that on March 14, 1995 my 22 year old daughter Elizabeth (Beth) Claire Strother was murdered by her former fiancé. Her tragic death has spurred me on a mission to be the voice of those who can no longer speak for themselves and most importantly, to save lives. I have been doing media work and public speaking on my story and that of my daughter's since shortly after her death. Our agency along with others in the Richmond VA area are gearing up for our October Awareness programs and I am very interested in having my daughter's SW figure there. I always participate with a sign that I have made with her pictures, and the following message: 
Beth Strother  Murdered 3-14-95 by Dickie Ward STOP THE VIOLENCE
I would like to add to this sign, a SW figure in her honor and memory. Please send me the specs so that I can have my husband make it for me. I would also like to utilize your resource center. I would like for Beth's figure to fit your specs if at all possible. Thanks for all you are doing to eliminate DV homicides. 

*This is one of the most moving notes I have received. I am always touched when family members feel the healing that goes along with honoring their loved ones and representing them as Silent Witnesses. Claire, know that the whole country is holding you and we will do everything we can to eliminate domestic violence.


Love Doesn't Have to Hurt TEENS:
We would like to let you know about a new brochure put out by the American Psychological Association entitled: "Love Doesn't Have to Hurt Teens." It is colorfully attractive, informative, straightforward and written in "teen language." Here is their online description:
"Love Doesn¹t Have to Hurt TEENS. Brochure on teen dating violence provides information and resources for victims, aggressors, and friends. Includes discussion of issues particular to disabled youth, same-sex relationships, and cultural beliefs. 1997. *After the first copy, there is a charge for additional copies at the rate of $10.00 per 25 copies. *Additional copies can be ordered from the Public Interest Initiatives Office (1-202-336-6046). To view the brochure and its contents online, visit: http://www.apa.org/pi/pii/teen/homepage.html

Conference: "Power in the Black Church: Sign or Sin?" A conference addressing the use, misuse, and abuse of power in the Black Church, Family, and Community to be held September 28 through October 5, 2001, in Baltimore, MD. On September 29th there will be a Symposium on Domestic Violence. This part of the conference will have as a keynote speaker, Dr. Traci C. West, author of Wounds of the Spirit: Black Women, Violence, and Resistance Ethics. This will be followed by a Roundtable discussion between the church, the academy (theological education), and the community. Our vision is to see ways in which these three entities could address domestic violence from their different perspectives and develop a task force (hopefully) that will continue this work that plagues our communities. The Silent Witness exhibit will be part of this conference. For more information contact Lynette Taylor WLTaylor17@msn.com

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 Hagberg.
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, rose_mary_boerboom@hotmail.com or 952-936-0973. 

A special thank you to Jo Dougherty, who volunteered to design Rose Mary's training manual after coming to a Silent Witness fundraiser last fall. She said this was the thing that she could contribute to Silent Witness to further the cause of healing. What a wonderful example she is. Thanks Jo.

I leave you today with a quote from the finest "Mother" of the 20th Century. Listen to your mother!!

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person." Mother Teresa

Coming from Mother Teresa, I don't think she means to duke it out amongst ourselves!!




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