September 15, 2005
It is getting about that time to get everything ready for Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we have people across the country preparing. It is so exciting and invigorating to get emails of what people are doing! Each person has an awesome energy, great ideas, and a dedicated soul!
First I would like to welcome the new people to the newsletter!
Martha Pearson in Janesville, WI & Jarjum Ete in Itanagar AP & Fran Bumgarner in Durham, NC & Sara Kepler in Sanford, FL & Brenda Ford in Tennessee
A Silent Witness Story:
Earlier this week I received an email from a victim’s family that I would like to share with you. It was after she had shared her story with me and I asked if she would like me to put it in the newsletter so people could use it for their Silent Witness Projects.
That would be fine with me. I know that telling our stories brings reality to DV. I would also like you to see the web site that my dear friend, Francine Pucillo, made for Kendall and Cordae. I will send the site to you and you can see how precious and beautiful they were.
I have told Cordae and Kendall 's story to the media here and to the UNC Med School students at a seminar headed up by my friend, Kit Gruelle. It is so hard to tell people what happened to my precious ones because it always brings back the memories of the horror and terror they went through. But I know people need to hear what heartache DV can bring and if telling the story helps educate people about DV - then I will continue to tell it.
I remember the first time I saw Kendall and Cordae's sihouettes. They were in the Hillsborough Court House in Orange Co., NC where the trial for Gates was held. I cried, of course, seeing the figures there. It was a moment to remember the hearing for Gates, the words of the district attorney, but most of all, to remember how wonderful they were and how much we all miss their love and their laughter. Bittersweet.
I still use my shawl that was so kindly sent to me. When I am feeling lonesome or sad, I wrap myself in the shawl and remember - so much comfort and love. (Provided by Sheila’s Shawls: See their section for more information)
If you need more information about Kendall and Cordae, please let me know.
This is a testament of how we not only help the people who see the exhibit and change their lives but also help the families who we send shawls to and who see what a difference their family member is making! Here is the story for anyone who would like to put it in their exhibit:
I am the paternal grandmother of Kendall Dianis. Kendall was murdered with his mother, Cordae Lee, and her friend, Valerie Gates, by Valerie's father, Alan Gates in Orange Co., NC. He had a long history of domestic violence and was hiding in Valerie's house in wait for Valerie's mother, Janet Gates. Cordae and Valerie stopped there on the way to take Kendall to the movie, Spirit. He shot his own daughter, Valerie, in the chest and forced Cordae and Kendall on the floor - face down and put the gun to their backs and murdered them. He is in prison serving 3 life sentences to run consecutively without the possibility of parole. We miss them every moment of every day.
Another email that I received would be a great resource for everyone starting up new exhibits or updating the old ones:
I am a former Communications Coordinator for the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), where I coordinated the Texas Silent Witness Initiative. It was very rewarding and meaningful work as I am a survivor (teen dating violence - physical abuse and rape by my high school boyfriend). It was my favorite project to work on for TCFV, especially when I had the opportunity to meet some of the family members of the "silent witnesses" at an unveiling we held at the capitol in Austin .
I now run my own writing, research and design business for nonprofit organizations (primarily domestic violence providers). I started doing freelance work so I could stay home with my newborn and the business just flourished. My son is now 2 1/2-years-old and in preschool and we've moved back to Texas from Arizona . Currently, I am working with domestic violence providers in Arizona and Texas on everything from researching potential funding resources (foundations, corporations) and designing brochures to media relations (writing press releases, making ! press calls) and developing training curricula. I also give presentations on “my story” and teen dating violence to youth groups, civic organizations, etc.
I'd like to offer those on the Silent Witness Initiative newsletter list a helping hand in their projects. I have worked with a few providers, just as I did while employed at TCFV, on researching and writing the stories that are featured on the Silent Witness plaques. This involved reviewing media clips, phone calls to district & county attorney offices, obtaining statistics from the department of public safety. Putting all of the research together and creating these brief, but powerful, stories. It is a very rewarding aspect of the Initiative because you are telling "their stories" ... giving them a voice because they no longer have one ... making sure that no one forgets them or the horror that led to their deaths. You are helping to ensure that the public knows that domestic violence related deaths aren't just a “once in a while” occurrence, but an everyday one.
Technology (email, phone and fax) make it possible for me to work with providers throughout the U.S. on projects such as these. So, I ask that you please relay this email to those on the list-serv. I would love to help in any way that I can. It is my work, but most of all, it is my passion.
Writer/Domestic Violence Advocate
League City , Texas
WE NEED YOUR HELP- Need for State Coordinators:
I have one last thing to update everyone on. I am in the process of updating the website and in doing so I am trying to make a list of state coordinators. Unfortunately most emails were sent back to me because they are no longer valid. So I am looking for people in each state to coordinate events. Responsibilities can include being a contact person if someone would like to borrow an exhibit to show in their town, and to know what exhibits are happening in their state. My dream for the website is to have each coordinator listed and then under them all the people who have exhibits in their state. They would not have to do exhibits for the whole state but would be a coordinator of the existing and new exhibits. This would be a resource that would be invaluable to anyone who is trying to start a new exhibit or someone who would like to get involved in their state. I receive emails about how someone can help or start an exhibit each day! While I love helping them someone in their state who already has some stories and advice would be awesome! So far the coordinators that I have are:
Sean Brazzale in Wyoming
Shari Hogan and Jaima Cruz in Monroe County , NY
Melanie Martin Lawhead in RI
Stacie Beard in Maryland
Nanci A. Bobrow in Missouri
Jim and Pam Nolan in West Virginia
Vicki Meilach in Illinois
Adreena Harley in Michigan
Karen Parker Thompson in Charlotte , NC
Leslie Frost in New Jersey
Debbie Sanders in Virginia
If anyone in interested please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 744-1113.
Changes in the website:
You no longer need a password to get in the “create a silent witness” box. You do however need to fill out a form on the exhibit that you are starting. If you are just updating an existing exhibit there is a special form for that as well. So whenever anyone needs to update their exhibit information please go to the website to fill out the form so we can keep everything up to date!
We have also added a link on the front page for anyone who would like to subscribe to the newsletter for free.
Lastly I am working on updating the statistics for each state. The FBI has sent the information in the mail to me!
Here is the bio of the other coordinator for the Colleges and Universities:
Monica Blaizgis, College Coordinator
Currently, I am a director of marketing & PR at an 80 store specialty retail chain based in Chicago . I have been involved with Silent Witness since 1996. At that time, I was the coordinator for Long Island , NY where we brought the project to the NY Institute of Technology campus and the community. We had a strong and passionate group, including one of the witnesses family, as our contingent for the march in Washington .
It is very important to facilitate the discussion about domestic violence in the college population. I really like working with this group and am so pleased that this facet of Silent Witness will continue to move forward.
Also I would like to correct a mistake that I made in the last newsletter.
For Diane Mayfield her city is Macomb , not McComb. Also the agency's name is Western Illinois Regional Council - Community Action Agency Victim Services. They go by WIRC-CAA Victim Services or even Victim Services.
Please keep me updated!!
October will be Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States .
Let's knit Sheila's Shawls and Paul's Scarves!
Renee Youngberg and Susan Bourne are happy to announce we will be sharing responsibilities as Co-Coordinators of Sheila's Shawls and Paul's Scarves for the next cycle -- as Renee returns to school as a teacher and Susan returns to school as a student -- and as we each bring our own unique gifts, talents and capabilities to this work ;-)
Susan will continue to moderate the online group, connect and respond with others by email, encourage new volunteers to join as State Coordinators and Volunteer Knitters, and continue as State Coordinator for Vermont .
Renee will continue to receive and distribute scarves, shawls and yarn, respond to inquiries and requests by phone, email , offer support and assistance to State Coordinators and Volunteer Knitters, and continue as State Coordinator for Minnesota .
We'll both be here to answer questions, make suggestions, and offer help and support as best we can. We hope sharing as Co-Coordinators will benefit all.
Together, with you, we support domestic peace.
New State Coordinators: Faith Ragan in Alameda , CA ; Sherry Clarke of FACES in Tulsa , OK ; Stephanie Whitehead of Violence Intervention & Prevention in Macon , GA ; Kate Jacobs Spak of Knit One, Heal Too! in Cincinnati , OH ; Lesa Nelson in Jacksonville , NC ; and Rita Guthrie in Tom-Green , TX . Thank you all so much!
New Volunteer Knitters: Thanks to Jan in SC who shares as she joins: " I am happy to volunteer my services."
Stories to Share:
Gratitude: Only when peace lives within each of us, will it live outside of us. We must be the wombs for a new harmony. When it is small, peace is fragile. Like a baby, it needs nurturing attention. We must protect it from violence and perversion if it is to grow. We must be strong to do this. But force, even in the name of honor is always tragic. Instead, we must use the strength of wisdom and conscience. Only that power can nurture peace in this difficult time. -Deng Ming Dao
Sheila's Shawls and Paul's ScarvesState Coordinator Contact Information:
May there be domestic peace in every home.
Susan Bourne & Renee Youngberg
NEWS FROM THE STATES:
Grand Cayman Islands :
From Beverly Banks:
Due to the terrible devastation to Grand Cayman by Hurricane Ivan last year, we were not able to have the "Silent Witness” march. With God's help we are in the process of planning for this October. Please remember us in your prayers.
From Carleen M. Cairns:
My name is Carlleen Cairns and I currently reside in Cocoa , Florida . I was involved slightly with the Silent Witness in Maryland under the direction of Fern Brown and Rosemary Rainman. When I relocated to Cocoa and found no Silent Witness Program I immediately started one. We will have our first presentation on Sunday, October 16th from 2-4 on the campus of Brevard Community College here in Cocoa . Will be sending pictures and an update. Support has been slow but is building; most of them here have never seen the Silent Witness so a little unsure. It is exciting to be able to give voice back to those who have lost theirs.
From Tom Golebiewski:
Our local Family Violence Co-ordinating Council will be exhibiting the Silent Witnesses (thanks to Cindy Wolfson) and Clothesline Project at our upcoming annual program on Sept. 22, 2005 .
From Susan Fuller:
Greetings from the Maine Silent Witness Project. Hope you have had a
Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence will be taking on the Dayton area Silent Witness project on October 2.
From Sandi R. Sams:
My Sister's House, Fayette County , Ohio is establishing a Silent Witness exhibit. We will be holding a candlelight vigil for domestic violence victims and families on Oct. 6th, 2005 .
From Lois A Herman and WUNRN:
A report released today by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) finds that intimate partner violence costs Oregonians nearly $55 million every year, with more than two-thirds of those dollars spent on health care services.
"The human face of this problem is seen every day by the healthcare system, police, courts and shelters," said Mel Kohn, M.D., state epidemiologist. "It takes a staggering economic toll that we all pay. Calculating the financial cost makes this problem even harder to ignore -- whether you're a legislator, government official or taxpayer.
"These data make a strong case for investing in programs that prevent this violence from occurring in the first place and for minimizing the long-term effects after it happens," Kohn said.
From Veda MacGregor:
These Ladies have been part of my life for many, many years. By Divine Intervention I am not one of them. We are having a fundraiser the 15th of October at our local Woman's Club (built in 1928) in Sanford, TX It's the perfect location for our "You Call This Love?" art exhibit which includes Silent Witnesses. We have over 30 art pieces and our state agency, TCFV in Austin is loaning us theirs. Each Witness will stand proudly next to art depicting their story. They will spend the evening among the historical beauty (Victorian decor) that befits their Dignity & Class. We'll be making our own set after that. We're laminating 200 of the little paper doll size cutouts. During a half hour presentation, a volunteer will sit at a table with a tri-fold board striped with Velcro. We'll have a clock so that every 9 seconds they'll place a figure on the board so that at the end of the 30 minute presentation, the group will have a good visual on the 200 women who were beaten during that time.
From Emmalee Ashland:
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence's Survivors' Caucus, and our caucus is putting on an event on October 15 th, our 5 th annual Survivors' Recognition Day, at the state capitol in Olympia . At our event we also recognize the victims, and will feature the Silent Witnesses, hopefully on the capitol steps, on that day. We have become involved in refurbishing the 30 rather tattered figures which are in the care of Eastside Domestic Violence Program here in Washington . But the names on the figures are of women who died in 1995. We want to update them with names from 2004, and are working with the WSCADV's Fatality Review Project Coordinator to get names.
From Bernard Thomas:
"Silent Witness Exhibit" in our First Domestic Violence Awareness Forum on October 28th, 2005 1000-1500 here at Naval Station Everett.
So far we have the following organizations participating:
Providence Hospital (Sexual Assault Dept), Snohomish Battered Women's Shelter, Deputy District Attorney, Compass Health, Cocoon House, Base Medical Health Fair Coordinator Team
Community Information Line Program (part of Volunteers of America), Positive Women's Network All of the above participants will represented with their resources to distribute on site. The two of our three guest speakers confirmed will be from the Battered Women's Shelter, Deputy D.A.'s Office.
From the CAEPV e-updates:
T'S TIME TO TALK DAY -- OCTOBER 11, 2005
Liz Claiborne Inc.and Marie Claire magazine have designated October 11, 2005 IT'S TIME TO TALK DAY to bring awareness to the important issue of domestic violence. Liz Claiborne and MarieClaire hope that by filling the air waves, the phone lines, the schools and the heart of American commerce with information on this pervasive problem, they will raise enough awareness that eventually this horrible epidemic finally will be wiped out once and for all. And you are invited to join them!
“Domestic violence is a problem that is more common than breast cancer and more insidious than AIDS, yet, by its nature, makes people uncomfortable. Designating October 11 as IT'S TIME TO TALK DAY is our way of turning this private problem into a social issue that all Americans can work to eliminate,” said Paul R. Charron, chairman and CEO of Liz Claiborne Inc. Nationally, IT'S TIME TO TALK DAY will include the following activities:
· IT'S TIME TO TALK Text Messaging Poll:
Verizon Wireless and Liz Claiborne have joined forces to conduct a text messaging poll using wireless phones to help raise awareness of domestic violence. From September 7th through October 21st, any cell phone user can participate in the poll by sending a message with the word “TALK” to ENDDV (36338), and subsequently they will be asked if they want to participate in a poll inquiring if they know someone who is a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence. The results of the poll will be announced at the end of October. Ten participants will be selected randomly to receive prize packages valued at about $500 and including Verizon Wireless, Liz Claiborne, and Marie Claire merchandise. ( Standard message rates apply and no purchase is necessary to win a prize package. For complete rules, including free entry method, please go to www.loveisnotabuse.com.)
· Launch of Curriculum :
Liz Claiborne Inc. has partnered with Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) to develop the Love is Not Abuse curriculum, which aims to raise awareness about the problem of dating violence, recommend resources for students in need, and ultimately, prevent dating violence from occurring in the future. Teachers in participating pilot schools will begin teaching the curriculum on October 11 in 9 th grade Health and English classes across the country. Unlike other curricula on the subject, Love Is Not Abuse will use brief, engaging texts (e.g., poetry, short stories, excerpts from screen plays and theatrical plays) as a springboard to build young people’s awareness of how to make healthy choices in relationships and what to do if they are in abusive ones.
Thank you for your time, energy, and amazing spirits as we all work together to end domestic homicide!
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
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