We head into Domestic Violence Awareness month next week. I am grateful to
all of you who are involved with Silent Witness activities around the
world. You are honoring the lives of all the Silent Witnesses and letting
their voices be heard. We need to speak out against violence this year
more than ever. Make an extra effort to go to an event or even to light a
candle in the name of healing and peace. If we don't carry out this
healing who will and if not now, when? You are angels and this is the time
to act. As you read the following Silent Witness stories, re-commit
yourself to working in any way you can to heal this country of domestic
Beverly Lone Eagle, Killed July 27, 1990
She had previously sought shelter as a battered woman. She was pushed from
a car, then struck and killed while walking along the old Bemidji highway.
Her husband was charged with second-degree manslaughter in her death. He
has previously served a reduced sentence for the awe-murder of his first
Tameka Hollie Vines, Killed October 10, 1994
Tameka was nineteen years old and living in Angier. She was five months
pregnant. She was shot once in the head in a triple shooting that left her
mother and stepfather injured. She and her baby died. Her former
boyfriend, who was under a restraining order, was charged with
first-degree murder in her death.
WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:
Laura Schimmel (Jr. League, Monterey County, CA), Debbie Sanders (Board
member, Safehouse, Co-director, SW March, Colorado Springs, CO), Sara
Koury (Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH), Ronette Schneider
(Jr. League, Erie, PA), Linda Simeon (DV Advocate/Hotline, Safespace, Dade
County, FL), Tammy Brown (Prosecutor's Office, Uvalde County, TX, new
Silent Witness exhibit).
STATES/COUNTRIES ON BOARD FOR OCTOBER SW EVENTS: WE HAVE A WAYS TO
Please let us know if you are scheduling events as soon as possible and
get us the details later. There are 34 states/countries on board:
Countries: Canada, Cayman Islands, Hungary, United States. States: Alaska,
Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana,
Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska,
Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington,
West Virginia, Wyoming.
I would love to hear from people in the states that are usually active and
have not notified us yet about their activities: Alabama, Connecticut,
Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Wisconsin. Thanks for all your great work. Together we can heal
NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:
Marcia Mckenzie updates us from Alaska:
As of this past Friday, the Anchorage shelter is working on setting up an
event with the Witnesses during the last week of October, and they will go
to Ketchikan during October also.
*Yes, this is long distance travel for the Alaska Silent Witnesses. They
are seasoned travelers by now.
This note from Laura Schimmel, Jr. League of Monterey: So far this fall,
we have planned for our Silent Witnesses: September 25, a candlelight
vigil for the Parents of Murdered Children;
September 20, Mujeres Leadership coalition's annual candlelight vigil;
October 5, Domestic Violence Coordination Council Annual Conference;
October 15, YWCA Community forum @ city hall; October 16, YWCA Youth film
@ Boy's & Girl's club; October 20, YWCA violence and the Media @
Monterey Peninsula College There are due to be a few more events added to
the calendar as they near.
*Thanks for this great update. There is a lot going on in Monterey County.
And Laura, welcome to the coordinating position with the Witnesses.
And Tina Campbell of Sacramento tells us that the University of
California, Davis has displayed the Silent Witness exhibit twice. Thanks
for that news.
This note from Debbie Sanders, a strong SW supporter in Colorado Springs:
I AM A NEW CORRESPONDENT TO YOUR GROUP FROM COLORADO SPRINGS. WE ARE
HAVING A SILENT WITNESS WALK ON OCTOBER 14TH, HERE IN COLORADO
SPRINGS,COLORADO. IT'S OUR 4 TH ANNUAL, AND WE ARE VERY PROUD OF THIS! OUR
SPONSORING AGENCY IS T.E.S.S.A, FORMERLY THE CENTER FOR PREVENTION OF
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.. I AM A BOARD MEMBER AND VOLUNTEER AT OUR SAFEHOUSE,AND
2 YEAR CO-CHAIR OF OUR SW WALK.. THANKS FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING WITH THIS
CORRESPONDENCE VIA E-MAIL ,ITS A GREAT WAY TO STAY INFORMED.
A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO I PETITIONED SENATOR BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL TO
SPONSOR A BILL TO INTRODUCE A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FUNDRAISING POSTAL
STAMP---I AM PLEASED TO SAY IT WILL BE VOTED ON IN OCTOBER OF THIS YEAR .
IF SUCCESSFUL, AS THE BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FUNDRAISER STAMP WAS, IT WILL
HAVE MONIES DISTRIBUTED BY DEPT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO OVER 2000
SHELTERS FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VILOLENCE. I WILL LET YOU KNOW IF SUPPORT
WOULD HELP, WITH E-MAIL SUPPORT
*This is wonderful. And to think of a stamp that we could buy to support
What a great idea.
Here's another idea for your October event. It comes to us from Heidi
Palalay in Delaware:
My name is Heidi Palalay and I am part of the pop/folk acoustic duo
Relative Sight. We are currently working with the Delaware Coalition
Against Domestic Violence to distribute our new single "Break the
Cycle" to all state coalitions in hope that the song can serve as a
public information tool for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We will
also be sending you a copy. Hopefully, you will be able to use it as a
public information tool as well. If you'd like to hear a sample of the
song, please go to our website at www.relativesight.com.
*I hope many of you can take advantage of this music. Go to their web site
and hear it and then order from there.
Celia Heady reports that they have four sets of Witnesses - Displays will
be in Caldwell, Post Falls, Valley County, Idaho Falls and Blackfoot. The
Witnesses will also appear in Boise on October 17-18. In the year 2000,
there were 5 adult female homicides.
*Thanks for this update, Celia. Hearing these summaries each year is like
hearing from old friends.
This utterly amazing story from Dorothy Lemmey, who moved from Ohio to
Maryland and it now making wonderful things happen there: Our church and
board approved the proposal to produce the silent witnesses of Harford
County. I applied for a $1100 community grant to sponsor production of the
silent witnesses but was denied. A radio manager contacted me for an
interview about our project. Our appointment was for 10:30a September 11,
2001. We were driving and I was reading out loud points I wanted to make
and the radio (NPR) was turned down low. About 9:40a I sensed the urgency
of the muffled voice on the radio and stopped reading out loud. We turned
it up and first heard that a plane ran into the World Trade Center and it
was on fire, then a second plane hit tower #2. Then a large plane also had
struck the Pentagon. We looked at each other in disbelief. I was reminded
of Orson Wells radio transmission of the War of the Worlds.
What is happening?
When we arrived at the building that housed the radio station we walked by
about 10 people outside smoking and talking, some on cell phone. The looks
on their faces were disbelief. We made some eye contact but kept walking.
I was unsure what to say, words seemed useless. We walked into suite 201,
which housed 2 radio stations. The first thing I noticed was the radio was
blaring the blow-by-blow descriptions of the three planes hitting in NYC
and Washington, you could hear the shouting and mayhem on the scene. There
were women and men glued to something they were staring at on the wall
enclosed behind glass doors. There were 2 black women hugging in an
office. The words fail me to describe the tension in the office. There was
a sense of panic; radio descriptions of the terror, people rapidly walking
from room to room. The tall , well-dressed, kindly receptionist could not
focus on our question about the interview. She stared at us unsure what to
say and stated it as such. Then Joy Finkelstein arrived with a shocked
image on her face. Her Government cell phone had a digital message
emergency on the screen; she said, "We all should go home to be with
family, this is just mute right now."So over the next 24 hours I
questioned should I keep pursuing this? It seems unimportant now in
light of such national disaster and fear. Wednesday I taught nursing
students and on the way home I received a call from one of the church
members. She had taken my proposal to the Harford County Community
College President and it was approved, they would give us $1000. She
also told me a church member who was an artist would help me produce
a child and a male figure. After I hung up from talking to her I believed
this was a message to us that YES this is important and we must do it.
Because I believe that family violence and the need for power and control
is the core of all the violence we see in the world and I have to do my
small part. And each person in the church is doing his or hers. I see this
as our small part to halt violence on earth.
Our Witnesses will appear October 1st through October 31. Ten life size figures
painted red on one side and black on the other will be standing in front
of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County (UUFHC). A bronze
shield displayed on their chest will have their name, birth and death date
as well as circumstances surrounding their death. Harford County Sheriffs
department supplied the names of the Harford County domestic homicide
victims from 1993 to 2001. There will be there will be 7 female figures,
1 male, and one-child figures and several anonymous figures produced.
*I wanted you to read this in its entirety because it is so moving I weep reading
it. Dorothy, what a difference you are making. And of course, they were
meant to be.
Susan Peterson from Northfield writes about this exciting new venture
I am a member of a Minnesota/Costa Rica Domestic Abuse task force. We have been
working on a mission to bring Supreme Court Justices and Judges from family
courts in Costa Rica to Minnesota. The purpose of this mission is for the
judges from Costa Rica to meet in Minnesota with Victim and Family Services
agencies, law enforcement, courts, corrections and all aspects of services
for victims of domestic abuse, violence against women and children, child
sexual exploitation, child prostitution and related areas. We want to share
information that we have, network together to solve similar gaps in services,
and build bridges between diverse cultures. Minnesota was chosen primarily
because of our ties to Costa Rica that have been in place for years,
and also because of Casa De Esperanza, an agency in St. Paul which provides
support, advocacy and services to primarily Latina women. Housing will
take place in Northfield, and sessions will be in Ramsey County, Hennepin
County,and Rice County. The mission was scheduled to commence last week,
but of course because of the USA coming under attack, the mission had to
*Susan, this is great news. Please keep up posted on the visit and on the results.
Here is a summary of the SW activities in Nevada for October: Their
exhibit will be at several venues, and it will be split up with a few figures
in the various places. There will be some at Incline Village and some
in Douglas County; one or two at the Carson City Courthouse for the entire
month of October.
*Thanks for this report. We've love to know more and find out how the
Silent Witnesses affect people.
Here is a press release from Middlesex County, NJ that you might want to keep
track of for your own use. Thanks for Yvonne Hook for sending it along:
"THE SIlENT WITNESS FIFTH ANNUAL EXHIBIT"
Although most people believe, "It can't happen to me," in New
Jersey alone last year there were 77,680 domestic violence offenses
reported of which 39 were murders. An educated and informed public is
the best defense against violence, therefore, the Middlesex County
Silent Witness Committee is presenting the Fifth Annual Silent
Witness Exhibit at Rutgers University.
All who visit the exhibit are profoundly affected. The silhouettes, that commemorate
the lives of real people, our friends, neighbors, relatives, who were
lost to us through acts of domestic violence, stand in silence. The silence,
which we are awed by, we hope will move people to remember the victims
with reverence and honor. That their powerful silence will make people
more aware of the ultimate outcome of violence and that they will be moved
to take some form of action through education, advocacy and legislation
to create safety and peace in our world.
*This is great. We can use this all over the country. Thanks for saving us
a lot of work, Yvonne.
Marie French of the Coalition fills us in on NC Silent Witness events:
NCCADV's event is October 2nd. We will display silent witnesses and
artwork at the Legislative Building auditorium from 11am to 3pm.
There are 12 other programs planning vigils and other events with the
Silent Witnesses across NC. I have attached an invitation to our
*thanks Marie. We have such fond memories of visiting NC the year before
the march and having the Governor unveil the Silent Witnesses. It was
a momentous occasion. Thanks for all you do there.
Yuko Miki at Eastside Domestic Violence Program sent the following:
List of organizations that are having the Silent Witness Exhibit in
Violence Awareness month.
10/1-10/9 Edmonds Community College (Lynnwood); 10/5-10/12 Evergreen State College
(Olympia); 10/15-10/22 University Place Police (University Place) 10/16-10/18;
Overlake Hospital (Bellevue) 10/23-10/31 YWCA Tacoma-Pierce (Tacoma);
10/23-10/31 McChord Family Advocacy Program (McChord AFB) All of the
agencies are sharing the exhibits. I have received high volume of request
for this month, and unfortunately, we had to turn away some of the requests
because there was no availability. Some of them changed it to either
September or November.
*Well, it sounds like we need multiple exhibits in Washington. Does anyone know
someone who would like to start another SW exhibit in Washington??? Great
work, Yuko. thanks a lot.
These notes on Wyoming from Sharon Montignino:
Silent March Location and Program, Gillette Wyoming. Law enforcement to escort
the march. Dave McElhiney, Wyoming Pipes and Drums, to lead the procession.
Hearse will lead the procession. Purple ribbon glass chalk for vehicles
driving the route. Benjamin Martinez, ESL, starting a new church in
Gillette will give a Hispanic blessing. T-shirts-Wrote a Verizon Wireless grant
to get 200-250 National Silent Witness t-shirts and other gifts.
Photographer for all day.
*Sounds like another rousing day in Wyoming. Thanks for this update. We
hope this goes well and that it is as well attended as usual. It is a
We got this special note from one of our colleagues on the other side of
the world. We are a smaller world than we think.
I want to convey to you and Lois and all my American friends my deepest sympathies
on the tragic and shocking events of 11 Sep. We at Aware grieve with
you and all the kind and generous American friends who have supported us
over the years. The world has suddenly become a much more dangerous place.
While voices will cry out for revenge, we hope that cool and steady hearts
will prevail. Yours very sincerely, Hedwig Anuar, Aware
*Thank you Hedwig. This note really means a lot to us. And after all, we
are all in this together.
NEWS FROM WORLDWIDE HEADQUARTERS:
Self Mastery Workshop Training: Rose Mary Boerboom is holding the
Minnesota training today and we are expecting great things from this
day. Our thanks to the accounting firm of Lurie Besikof Lapidus and
Company for providing their training room and all the set up expenses
for us. Kathy Hogan has been especially helpful to us throughout this
planning. We are very grateful for this generous contribution.
The Empower Programıs Evaluation 2000-2001 Introduction
This report examines the effectiveness of the Empower Programıs Owning Up curricula,
a school-based program that addresses how gender socialization can
lead young people to experience violence as a perpetrator, witness, or bystander.
The findings reported here are based on two samples: A sample of 180
female students ages 14 to 19, and a sample of 222 male students, ages 14
to 19. The survey and research was designed and conducted with the
guidance of Mt. Sinai Adolescent Hospital including Dr. Betty Hamburg and Morton
Slater, Ph.D.; Rutgers Universityıs Ph.D. candidate Caroline Heldman; and
the Empower Program's staff and board over the 2000-2001 school year. After
Female students acceptance of violence declined
significantly after completing the program. Girls in the program were
significantly less likely in the post-survey to agree with the
statement It's okay for me to hit someone to get them to do what I
want² than in the pre-survey. Post-program, both female and male
students were significantly more likely to agree with the statement,
"When I am confronted with a problem, I can usually think of a
Perhaps the evaluationıs most significant finding is the dramatic improvement
in the studentsı conflict resolution style.
dropped significantly from pre-to post-survey among female and male
students. This indicates that students were less likely to
respond with a verbal counterattack in a situation of conflict after completing
the program. Physical aggression dropped significantly for female and
male students from pre- to post-survey, indicating that students were
less likely to respond with a physical counterattack in a situation
of conflict after completion of the program.
To find a full evaluation report go to the Empower web site at
I leave you today with two quotes, one from Dorothy Lemmey who sent us the wonderful
story of the new Maryland Silent Witness exhibit and the other from
Eve Hook who coordinates Silent Witness in Middlesex county, NJ:
"The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people." Ghana
"It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because
they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them,
because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really
good at heart. I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation
consisting of confusion, misery and death.
I see the world gradually turned into wilderness. I hear the ever approaching
thunder, which will destroy us too. I can feel the suffering of millions
and yet, when I look up to the heavens, I think that it will all come
right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will
In the meantime, I must uphold my ideas, for perhaps the time will come
when I shall be able to carry them out.