Newsletter for Sept. 29, 2000
What an exciting time of year. So many of you are gearing up for the October Silent Witness events. It is wonderful. The Witnesses will raise their collective voices once again and call for a healing of domestic violence in the world. Remember all the Silent Witnesses next month and pledge that we will heal this country in their honor.
I just visited our wonderful activists in Chicago and attended the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) annual meeting a week ago and it was a great experience. More on that in the national news section.
WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS: 650 on the mailing list now!!
Amy Woodell (New SW exhibit, a Safe Place, Rochester, NH), Jane Winkler (Ex. Dir, YWCA, Dayton, Ohio), Barbara Lippa (Zonta, Virginia), Tina Fuller (counselor, Sistercare, Inc, Winnsboro, SC), South Dakota Coalition Against DV (new email address), Candace Slaughter (new email address), Rita Guthrie (new email address), Rebecca Zwart (SW Exhibit, Grant's Pass, Oregon), Karissa Wilson (survivor, Marietta, OK), Kerry Charron (New email address), Cary Waterman (SW originator, MInneapolis), Denise Claessens (Asst. Principal, Elk Grove HS, Elk Grove, IL), Kari Klingsporn (friend of SW, Minneapolis), Katy Klingsporn (friend of SW, Minneapolis), Mary Louise Klas (Judge, St. Paul), Patricia Kirkpatrick (SW originator, St. Paul), Tom Golebietski (Treatment Specialist, Chicago), Desmond Raftery (Elk Grove Village, IL), Pamela Matiosian (Wilmette, IL), Carole Adler (Chicago), Jennifer Held (Community Relations, Target Stores), Birgit Appelt, Verena Kaselitz (Women Against Violence Europe, Vienna, Austria).
NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:
Chris Haupt of the Jr. League of Monterey County writes:
Greetings, here in Monterey County we have several events being planned that the Silent Witnesses will be participating in, however, I do not have all the exact dates, etc. of the events. We will have the witnesses displayed on 9/25 in Marina at a POM remembrance night. (Parent's of Murdered Children) Also participating in a conference running October 15 - 21, "Week without Violence" . Two other organizations have made initial contacts, but I don't have details.
*Wonderful to see that Monterey is on the go. More power to you.
State's Attorney Charles Reynard of Bloomington, Indiana informs us that since they have been working on a Coordinated Community Response (similar to Quincy, Mass) in Bloomington their domestic homicide rates have been dropping dramatically. Also their prosecution rates have risen.
Their domestic battery prosecutions have gone from approximately 50 per year to nearly 650.
Their domestic homicide or attempted homicide rates (for intimate partners) have gone from 12 cases in 4 years (1990-1994) to 3 cases in 7 years (1994-2000). None in the past 4 years!!
*This is phenomenal. We are so pleased to see these results. It gives hope to the rest of the country. Please consider starting a Coordinated Community Response. See the web site for details and contacts. Together we can make a difference.
There will be a new SW exhibit in Wichita, Kansas. We're waiting for more details but that makes Kansas a state with multiple exhibits. Yes.
*We'll be anxious to hear more about the Wichita exhibit. Please keep up informed.
Amy Woodell from Americorps is definitely putting together a new SW exhibit for Rochester, NH.
They hope to be ready for DV Awareness Month.
*Go for it, NH. This is a wonderful effort.
Rebecca Zwart wrote us from Grants Pass about their schedule for their Silent Witnesses during October. Their shield stories are in Spanish and English. This may be a first for SW.
Oct.2-Candlelight Vigil at Grants Pass HS, Oct.3,4-Firehouse Gallery (where more than 500 people will view the exhibit), Oct. 16-Illinois Valley Family Resource Center, Oct. 17- Three Rivers Community Hospital and Health Center for three showings of Broken Vows: Religious Perspectives on DV, Oct 18- Oregon Law Center Open House, Oct.19- Rogue Community College Student Services Building, Oct. 20- Bank of America, Oct. 21- Walmart, Oct.22- Walmart, October 24-Grants Pass HS for three showings of Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis of Masculinity, Oct.27-Josephine County DV Council Meeting, Oct. 28, Southgate Cinema, Oct. 30 Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.
*Thanks Rebecca and company. It is amazing to see the wide variety of places that the SW are going in October. What a great effort. Keep up the good work.
Rosemary Boerboom (Treatment Specialist) and Janet met with Jan Secor who is coordinating programs in Siberia. She is interested in pursuing some joint work with Silent Witness and we are thinking about some training programs she will do in Seattle next spring or in Siberia next summer. We'll keep you all posted. Great work, Jan.
Gretchen Goldstein, the President of NCJW in Nashville informs us that The Silent Witness Exhibit will be spending the month at The Women's Center at Vanderbilt University.
*We are thrilled that Tennessee is keeping the stories alive. Go Tennessee
Ronna Quimby from Mineral Wells, Texas writes us about rural DV:
I am with Hope Shelter in Mineral Wells, Texas, a rural community west of the DFW area. Although Hope has been here since 1983, they have never done anything to publically recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This October will be different. In the Sunday paper, an article that I contributed to as well as a picture of our silent witnesses was published and I have asked for local businesses to host the witnesses during the month of October so the community can see them. The Chamber has agreed to take them for the first week in October and I'm certain we will have many others interested. We will also be involved in a massive purple ribbon campaign. The local paper has also agreed to run a series of articles about domestic violence during October.
Reaching a rural community is very difficult. One would think that less people would be easier to reach, but that is not the case. Thankfully, there are a few on board to help us out. I'll keep you posted on the success of this event!
*Ronna, we are excited about the community's support of SW. The Chamber is to be congratulated. Keep up the great work.
And this note from Yvonne Gutierrez, from Laredo, Webb County, Texas.
Our seven Silent Witnesses are almost done. The exhibit will be unveiled at the press conference on Friday, September 29,2000. The Press Conference will announce October as Domestic Violence Awareness month and will also announce the Domestic Violence Awareness Conference. The Silent Witness Exhibit will also be shown at the conference.
It has been a lot of work coordinating this exhibit. We do hope to bring remembrance, awareness, advocacy and legislation with this exhibit. Yvonne
*Thank you Yvonne and everyone who worked so hard to create these Witnesses. We hope to find out where this is happening!!
Kris Uhen of the MIlwaukee Women's Center brings us up to date on Wisconsin:
The Wisconsin Silent Witness Exhibit continues to be used by Milwaukee area schools, women's groups, and other organizations. The exhibit will be on display at the Take Back the Night rally on September 21. Take Back the Night is a community event to honor and acknowledge survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, etc. Again, the SW Exhibit will be on display at three different locations during the month of October.
*Thanks, Kris. It's great to know how many communities are being saturated with Silent Witness.
A note from Shamita Das Dasqupta who has a generous offer for us:
I work with an organization for South Asian women in New Jersey, Manavi. We
have developed a poster with the stories of South Asian-American women, men and children whose lives have been destroyed by domestic violence. I would love to send a copy of the poster to the Silent Witness project. If you wish, we will be happy to send you a large number of the posters for visitors to take home.
I am deeply appreciative of your work to end violence against women. Thank you. Please contact me at
*Thank you so much Shamita. We got our posters and they are so wonderful. Anyone who would like one needs to email Shamita directly. Again, thanks.
It looks like the Silent Witnesses will appear at the first ever March Against Domestic Violence in New York City. This is great news. We'll wait to hear the details.
NEWS FROM NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS:
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES PLUS STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING: PLEASE NOTE
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,
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
email@example.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.
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 406-443-2200. 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. Come to the steering committee meeting and stay for the training.
Montana Training Program for Treating 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 Acadeny. Directions will be sent or emailed to you. Contact: Jerri Miller
NEW STATES ON BOARD FOR OCTOBER SILENT WITNESS EVENTS:
These 23 states/countries have announced plans for SW activities in October: Alaska, Arizona, Cayman Islands, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wyoming. Let's move forward on this together.
Please let us know if your state is planning a Silent Witness presence at events in October. We need 28 more states to meet our national goal.
TRIP TO ILLINOIS: CAEPV Meeting
Last week I attended the Corporate Alliance to End Partner VIolence annual meeting (as an advisory board member). It was a truly inspiring meeting. First it was fabulous to met all the corporate members who have such energy to end workplace violence. They are electric with ideas and with programs and are moving forward with creativity and resolve. A program in Arizona caught my eye. American Express is working with women in shelters there to train them for job readiness for Am Ex jobs in the area. They will have extensive training in the work skills required as well as personal skills to stay on the job. This will allow women to find jobs that will make them financially able to stand on their own. This is very exciting and could spread to the rest of the country. Thanks to American Express we can start breaking the cycle of dependence.
CAEPV also introduced a new program on CD Rom for adolescent girls called Girls Allowed. It is a self
esteem raising program about self and relationships that is interactive and can be viewed privately which is what girls that age need and
respond to. Our Owning Up project mentor Rosalind Wiseman (who will be presenting at the steering committee meeting in Montana) spoke to the group about what adolescent girls need in this programming and is a consultant to this new CAEPV project. Dr. Peggy Smith, a professor at Baylor also gave background research on girls self esteem. It was a very exciting program. The funding for the CD Rom is being generated from the corporate members of CAEPV and the program will debut next year at the Women's Museum in Texas.
I also met Charles Reynard, State's Attorney in Indiana, who has spearheaded a very successful Coordinated Community Response project which has resulted in increased convictions and reduced murder rates for Bloomington, Indiana. I reported on this earlier in this newsletter. It was so great to feel the excitement and the can-do attitude of these organizations.
Thanks to Kim Wells and Judy Bailey for a most enjoyable and productive meeting.
TRIP TO ILLINOIS: CHICAGO SILENT WITNESS ACTIVISTS:
I spent valuable time with Cindy Wolfson, our stalwart Silent Witness coordinator in Highland Park, a suburb north of Chicago. She was at the March in Washington with her daughters and has organized a court watch and several other events in Chicago since then. She was a terrific hostess for me and had a dinner at her home with several movers and shakers in the courts and Cook County system. A few key judges, an innovative shelter coordinator, a treatment specialist and the executive to the Cook County Board Chair. It was an informative and energizing evening for me and I applaud what they are doing in Cook County with dedicated DV courts and lots of involvement from visionary judges.
The next day I spoke to the Domestic Violence Council in the northern section of Cook County. During that meeting I and was struck with the immediate responsiveness of the Chief Judge, Hon. Nancy Salyers to the recommendations of the Court Watch report. She instituted several changes that will make the courts more responsive. Also attending this meeting was the judge who oversees all the DV courts in Cook County, Hon. Judge Gloria Coco.
There was a great deal of interest in both the adolescent programs and the treatment models that Silent Witness advocates. There will be serious follow up in this group and that is very exciting. Following the meeting I met with dedicated court watchers and a minister who has made domestic violence reduction in the churches her ministry.
I left feeling rejuvenated and optimistic. There is a lot of interest in Chicago for moving forward with more of the Results Projects and we will watch with much anticipation as these projects develop. Thanks to Cindy for her warm hospitality in hosting me at her home and for all the great contacts that she made for us. She is truly the heart of SW in that area.
10TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY FOR SILENT WITNESS:
Last Sunday we had a moving 10th Anniversary party for Silent Witness involving the Founding Mothers of Silent Witness, some supporting organizations, the Chair of our Board, Susan Mundale, our Board of Directors and a few stalwart friends. I wish you could have all been there. It was amazing. As we introduced ourselves each person told how they were involved in Silent Witness and what it meant to them. The Founders told us how they started the first exhibit, how they wrote those first stories, how they raised the money necessary to make the 27 Witnesses ($2500 in $75 increments raised form individuals and groups around the state). They told us how the Witnesses came alive for them as they cut the figures, how protective they felt at the first showing of the Witnesses at the state capitol, how family members came and asked to carry their loved ones at the first march, and how they thought that the Capitol event would be the end of the project. NOT TO BE.
We reminisced about The Minnesota Women's Consortium which was our sponsoring organization and organized the first brown bag lunch for the founders to talk about ideas that would eventually lead to the SW project. We laughed about all the meetings we had at a little
restaurant called Poulet. We met so often we thought we lived there for awhile that first year. We cried as we remembered the domestic violence in our own lives and families that inspired some of us to get involved. We rejoiced in the activity of the Jr. League of St. Paul which took on the Silent Witnesses with the inspiration of Jane Zeller who later became a co-director of Silent Witness. The Jr. League brought the SW exhibit along with 200 people by bus to the March in Washington. We relived the march and all the drama of the procession lead by the mournful bagpipers. It was awesome.
We watched the Silent Witness video, heard the SW national anthem, read moving letters from those of you who sent them, gave out hearts with the SW logo on them, indicating that the
Founders and Board have given of their hearts to move SW into the key place it holds today in healing this country. And we were awed by all the activity-- the Results Projects, the nationwide October events, the newsletter, the web site, the publications, the new slide show, the brand new Murder Meter that was debuted at this meeting, our new international ambassador, the fabulous results in domestic homicide reduction and the sheer
determination of all of you around the world who make Silent Witness what it is. And then we ate really good dark chocolate torte and mascarpone cheesecake and cheered. Thanks for what you all mean to us and for what we will all do together to heal this country of domestic violence homicides by the year 2010.
This week Congress passed VAWA, 415-3.YES. This is great news for the whole DV movement. We can move forward with more exciting and healing programs. Thanks to everyone who sent letters or worked on this in any way.
I leave you today with a wonderful blessing:
May your dreams overflow your boundaries; may you dance on new found shores; may you drink deeply of healing visions and rest beside liberating streams.