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September 30, 2005

Dear Friends,

            I have a confession to make this week. Up until last week I had not read the books that we provide; The Silent Witness Story and the Results book. WOW are they powerful! Just think what you are doing this next month for Domestic Violence awareness month is because of a group of women who wanted to make a difference and just started brainstorming ideas! It is amazing!

Here is an update written by Patty Perez that definitely gets at what I learned:

The History and Future of the Silent Witness National Initiative

Patty Perez

It started out with a lunch conversation by a group of female artists, writers and faculty members at a Minnesota arts college who felt an urgency to speak out about the escalating number of women killed by domestic violence during the summer of 1990.

It has NOW become an international movement in which 47 states and 18 countries have exhibited life-sized, red silhouettes representing women who were killed at the hands of a husband, partner or an acquaintance.

On February 18, 1991 , more than 500 women escorted 26 silhouettes, representing the Minnesota women killed in 1990, to the state capitol. A twenty-seventh silhouette represented the unknown woman whose death went unreported.   The figures were displayed in the rotunda of Minnesota 's capitol building. That day a movement was born.

"The surprise for us all at the beginning was the strong emotional reaction. We never dreamed the exhibit would have that impact," said Janet Hagberg, an author and nationally recognized speaker who helped create the original exhibit. "We were ready to put it away after the first march in Minnesota , but the witnesses were not finished yet - to put it mildly. Fifteen years later they are still not finished."

The impact did not end with the exhibits. Inspired by the effect the silent witnesses had, Hagberg and Jane Zeller formed the Silent Witness National Initiative with the hope of, one day, seeing a reduction of domestic violence homicides.   The Initiative aims to provide a message of hope, help and healing for the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. The Initiative monitors various domestic violence projects, including 30 court watch programs throughout the country, coordinated community responses and the collection of national data relating to intimate partner homicide.

Hagberg has many memories from the last 15 years, but one that truly stands out is the National March to End the Silence About Domestic Violence in 1997. Family, friends and thousands of advocates carried 1500 silent witnesses in a march from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol. Hagberg remembers a little boy standing next to a Silent Witness from Vermont and saying to a friend, "That's my mom."

"I can also see the late Senator Paul Wellstone standing behind Susan Fuller at the march in Washington ," said Hagberg.  "Her story is so riveting and Paul was such a great support er. That image of the two of them lingers with me."

Fuller is a domestic violence survivor who became a dedicated support er of the Initiative after the march.   She currently organizes Maine 's Silent Witness Initiative.

Hagberg said the witnesses often inspire immediate and emotional reactions.

"The reaction I see time after time is this: someone sees the exhibit and has to stop and look more closely; when they are close and read one of the shields, they pause and absorb it. Then they slowly move to the next silhouette and the next, and they usually stop and just feel the loss or the impact of it all. Many times they weep." Hagberg said. "It was Tipper Gore's reaction when she first saw the exhibit in Washington when we took it there in 1993. I still see this reaction today."

Another highlight for Hagberg has been men's involvement in the project. She spoke of men who originally furthered the movement by making the silhouettes.

"John Peterson's speech at the Washington march, spoken as a former abusive husband is etched in my memory," Hagberg said. "Although controversial at the time, it has had a lasting impact. It ignited Nancy Rafi to change her view of men and become more involved in Silent Witness, by eventually becoming director."

Other products of the initiative are Sheila's Shawls , Paul's Scarves and the Quilts for Kids projects. The shawls and scarves, named for the late Senator Paul Wellstone and his wife, are knitted and crocheted nationwide and then donated to the families of domestic violence victims. At age 12, Augusta Rodgers of Minnesota heard about the shawl project and started Quilts for Kids , a program that sent quilts to the youngest victims of domestic violence whose mothers were killed.

As Hagberg steps down from her role, Cassie Pritchard of Oklahoma has assumed leadership of the Initiative. "The younger women are so electrified by this work, and colleges and high schools are being more active with us now," Hagberg said.

The Initiative set a goal to have zero domestic violence deaths by 2010.   There has been a 50 percent decrease in non-fatal domestic violence, a 67 percent decrease in domestic violence deaths for men and a 25 percent decrease for women. As of 2001, two states, North Dakota and Vermont , had no domestic violence homicides for one year.

            Today, the silhouettes of men, children and pregnant women join the original female figures.   These red images remain etched in our memories. The hope is that someday, we will not have to display silhouettes for women, men or children, or tell their stories and wonder how this can continue to happen.

For more information about the history and work of the Silent Witness National Initiative, visit www.silentwitness.net. To become involved in the Initiative's work, contact Cassie Pritchard at cassie.pritchard@okstate.edu.

I have gotten so many emails in the past two weeks of people who want to help out and the things that organizations are doing all across the country. It is invigorating. I would like to welcome:

Denise      Lang                Wasau, WI 

Shannon    Grey               Wakefield , RI            

Angela      Bouchard        Jamica Plain, MA

Gennie     Lynn               Tulsa , OK   

Adrienne   Holloway        Aurora ,       Il

Kimberly   McLean           Halifax , NS               

Trish         McCourt         Sussex , NB              

Sonorra   Ray                  Silverdale, WA

David       Thomason       Silverdale, WA                         

Michael   Crisostomo      Hagatna Guam

Judi          Gustafson        Colorado Springs, CO           

Kathy        Anderson        Plymouth , MN           

Megan     Abilez             Elmendorf, TX

Lynda       Ayers              Merritt Island , Fl

Brenda     Thompson     Grafton, WV

Heidi-Beth Burns          Odanah, WI

Seema      Kapoor         Cayman Islands

Allen Black Jackie        Oskaloosa, Iowa

Martina Porter            Colorado Springs, CO

Bridget Eismann       Post Falls, Idaho

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP- Need for State Coordinators:

 

Sean Brazzale                  Wyoming

Shari Hogan                      Monroe , NY

Jaima Cruz                       Monroe , NY

Melanie Martin                  Lawhead Rhode Island

Stacie Beard                     Maryland

Nanci A. Bobrow              Missouri

Jim and Pam Nolan         West Virginia

Vicki Meilach                   Illinois

Adreena Harley                Michigan

Karen Parker Thompson   Charlotte , NC

Leslie Frost                       New Jersey

Debbie Sanders              Virginia

Nance Duke                    Colorodo

Linda Snelling                 South Carolina

Tamantha Mosier             Oklahoma

As you can see we still need many more coordinators! I know that there are people who help and loan exhibits across the state automatically so it would be great to get the information out there for everyone. Please let me know!

PLEASE SEND ME EVENTS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH! I love email and phone calls J Please remember I am here to help in any way possible please just ask J

For the month of October there will be a newsletter out every Friday with the exception of the 22 nd!

What's Up with Sheila's Shawls?

October will be Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States .  

Let's knit Sheila's Shawls and Paul's Scarves!

*********************

Dear Friends,

Illinois : The Yarn Shop owner and her partner are very interested in sponsoring something for Sheila's Shawls! They would like to be a collection point for our Shawls and perhaps offer a
discount for yarn. Please forward any ideas, suggestions etc that you can think of for ideas/requests! So far there is the thought of getting them to hold a knitting evening, or perhaps sharing some various easy to make shawl ideas.

Minnesota : In Fridley , MN Totino-Grace High School has developed a knitting / crocheting group. Where people from all ages, students, teaching staff, kitchen staff, and parents all come together to create shawls and scarves for Sheila's Shawls and Paul's Scarves. A great program to make others aware of domestic violence and multigenerational sharing.

Publicity by: There is a moving story called 'All the Wrong Men' in the October O/Oprah Magazine and watch www.femiknitz.com for an article on Sheila's shawls and Sheila Wellstone

Mark Wellstone just commemorated a park in the Iron Range where the Wellstone plane crashed as a place for walking, thinking, and prayers

May there be domestic peace in every home.

Susan Bourne & Renee Youngberg

Sheila's Shawls and Paul's Scarves

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SheilasShawls

NEWS FROM THE STATES and COUNTRIES:

California :

Erica Klescewski with the Women's Resource Center at Sonoma State University is interested in bringing the Silent Witness project to campus.

 Georgia :

From Renee Youngberg:

Violence Intervention & Prevention Inc. will display shawls and scarves along with Silent Witness Silhouettes in front of City Hall in Macon Georgia on October 7, 2005.

Germany :

Michelle R. Kendrick a Victim Advocate with Army Community Service on the 411th Base Support Battalion is starting an exhibit in Heidelberg , Germany .

Grand Cayman Islands :

From Seema Kapor:

We are currently working on this year's Silent Witness March and 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence program.

Oklahoma :

 Oct 2 nd All Faith Leaders in OK County to receive letter from the YWCA CEO asking them to take a moral stand opposing Violence Against Women in a sermon during October

Oct 3 rd NCADV Day of Unity Statewide Silent March at noon .  DVIS Creek County , Stigler and Tahlequah participating.   YWCA OKC tying purple ribbons on trees at all locations.  DVIS Creek County and Stigler are marching with SW Silhouettes.

Oct 4 th   Durant Candlelight Vigil (20 Silhouettes)

Oct 5 th   Lighting of the Capitol in Purple 7:00pm  Press Conference, south steps (where statues are)

Oct 10 th             Norman (6 Silhouettes)

Oct 11 th             Tahlequah LadyFair

Oct 13 th             Tahlequah Annual Meeting

Oct 14 th             Tahlequah Christian Country Concert Fundraiser

                        Stigler/Quinton Event (20 Silhouettes)

Oct 19/20 th        20 Silent Witness Silhouettes on display at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City

Oct 19 th             Stigler/Wilburton Event (20 Silhouettes)

Oct 20 th             Ardmore Candle Light vigil (20 Silhouettes)

Oct 21 st             Tahlequah Community Meeting on Batterer Intervention

                        OKC Chili Cook-off for law enforcement, attorneys, etc

Oct 24 th             Tahlequah/Sallisaw Awards Luncheon

Oct 27 th             Ardmore Healthy Lifestyles Conference (20 Silhouettes)

Oct 28 th             Tahlequah/Wagoner Recognition Luncheon Rose State College Visual Art Display Contest (theme is Violence Against Women)

Oct 29 th             Shawnee Project Safe/Cit. Pott. Nation Kids Fair (15 Silhouettes)

Oct. 29 th          A display of shawls and DV prevention education materials at a table at the Broken Arrow , OK Crime Prevention Night Out.

Oct. 30 th        FACES (Families and Communities Empowered for Safety) family Halloween outreach event at a local park. We'll display shawls and ask for volunteers to create them; we'll pass out large window magnets that say "There's No Room for Violence in Tulsa: Call 911"; we'll hand out informational DV prevention brochures that define what DV is, signs and symptoms, how to get help and how to give help, and where to find a safety plan; we'll give whistles to kids to use to call for help, if needed - we want them to learn to speak out!

All Month:

Rose State College in Midwest City displaying 7 Silent Witness Silhouettes.

Shelter kids Posters on display at the Capitol courtesy Office of Attorney General.

Tulsa DVIS hosting Dating Violence Art Contest in all Tulsa schools, grades 9-12.

Altus moving 2 silhouettes from business to business in 2 counties during the whole month.
 
Minnesota :

From Renee Youngberg:

Alexandria House is hosting a 5K run or 2M walk on Sat. Oct. 1, 2005 . It will be held in Bunker Lake Regional Park in Anoka County , Minnesota . Registration starts at 8:00AM and the walk kick off begins at 9:00AM . One great way to make the community aware of Domestic Violence.

 North Carolina :

From
Events around North Carolina

Program

County

Location

Event

Date/Time

Contact

NCCADV in collaboration with Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County and Interact of Wake County

Orange County
 

UNC
Chapel Hill
 

"Connecting the Dots" It is Your Business
DV Training

Oct. 3, 2005
8-12pm
 

Marie Brodie
1-888-232-9124

Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County and the UNC Hospital 's Beacon Child and Family Program

Orange County

Aurora Restaurant

Silent
(No More!) Auction

September 29, 2005
5:30pm-7:30pm
 

Melissa Radcliff (919)
929-3872

Family Violence Prevention Center

Orange County

Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce

"Business After Hours" featured non-profit, FVPC

October 20, 2005
5:30-7:30pm

Ronnie Bower
(919)
929-3872

Family Violence Prevention Center

Orange County

Downtown Chapel Hill

March for Family Peace

October 25, 2005
5:30pm

Ronnie Bower
(919)
929-3872

Family Violence Prevention Center

Orange County

East Chapel Hill High School

" Battle on the Border" charity basketball game for FVPC

October 15, 2005
5:30pm

Ronnie Bower
(919)
929-3872

Family Violence Prevention Center

Orange County

Wellness Center at Meadowmont

Workshop on how domestic violence impacts people with disabilities

October 14, 2005
1:30-3:30pm

Ronnie Bower
(919)
929-3872

Family Violence Prevention Center

Orange County

Top of the Hill

"Charity Beer"
Proceeds go to FVPC

October 11, 2005
All day

Ronnie Bower
(919)
929-3872

Safe Space, Inc.

Franklin County

Louisburg Police Department Training Center

Clothesline Project

October 4, 2005
6-8pm
 

Beth Copeland
(919) 497-5599

Safe Space, Inc.

Franklin County

Franklin County Courthouse , Louisburg

Candlelight Vigil

October 18, 2005
5:30pm

Beth Copeland
(919) 497-5599

Stand Up Speak Out

Durham County

Marvell Event Center
Downtown, Durham

Featuring:
Survivor's Story
& Monica Daye

October 1, 2005
8:30pm
 

Monica Daye
Visit our Web Site
 

Stand Up Speak Out

Durham County

NCCU

Workshop

October 11, 2005
11am

Monica Daye
Visit our Web Site

 

Stand Up Speak Out

Mecklenburg County

RealBooks Store

Workshop

October 11, 2005
7pm

Monica Daye
Visit our Web Site

 

Stand Up Speak Out

Durham County

Duke University

Workshop

October 18, 2005
7pm

Monica Daye
Visit our Web Site

 

Stand Up Speak Out

Durham County

Downtown Durham ,
TBA

Candlelight Vigil

October 20, 2005

Monica Daye
Visit our Web Site

Men Against Domestic Violence

Durham County

Marvell Event Center
Downtown Durham

Workshop/Show

October 22, 2005
8:30pm
 

Monica Daye
Visit our Web Site

Women's Commission

Mecklenburg County

CMPD Training Academy
1770 Shopton Road

"The Search For Accountability"
DV Conference
 

October 14, 2005
8:30 - 4:30 pm
 

Mike Sexton
(704) 432-1568
 

Women's Commission

Mecklenburg County

St. Peter's Catholic Church 507 South Tryon Street

"DV Homicides for 2005"
DV Lunch & Learn, Plus a Public Awareness March

October 4, 2005
12:30-1:30pm
 

Mike Sexton
(704) 432-1568

Women's Commission

Mecklenburg County

TBD

Interfaith Candlelight Vigil

October 16, 2005
7pm

Mike Sexton
(704) 432-1568

Dare to Care

Mecklenburg County

Charlotte Museum of History

Interfaith Candlelight Vigil

October 16, 2005
7pm

Marage Blakeney
(704) 391-1480

NC American Society for Healthcare Risk Management

Statewide

Embassy Suites Hotels
Greensboro , NC

Conference
"Workplace Protection of Domestic Violence Victims for Hospital Managers"

October 6, 2005
1:30pm-2:45pm
 

Mike Hoke
(919) 784-2065
 

Division of Social Services, Family Violence Prevention

Wake County

Albemarle Building
Lobby
 

Display of NC Silent Witnesses

October 3-4, 2005

Susan King
(919) 733-2279

Hope Harbor Home, Inc.

Brunswick County

TBD

Walk-A-Thon

October 22, 2005
1:00-4:00pm

Vicki
(910) 754-5726

Coalition For Family Peace

Chatham County

Siler City Town Hall

Candlelight Vigil

October 25, 2005
5:30-7:00pm

Kathy Hodges
(919) 742-7320

Helping Hands

Warren County

Courthouse Square

Awareness Ceremony

October 3, 2005
5:00 -until

Gwen Tunstall
(252) 257-6781

Helping Hands

Warren County

Snow Hill Baptist Church

Community Prayer Breakfast

October 15, 2005
8:30 am

Gwen Tunstall
(252) 257-6781

Helping Hands

Warren County

Unity Prayer, House of Faith

Church Outreach Project

October 16, 2005
4:00pm

Gwen Tunstall
(252) 257-6781

Helping Hands

Warren County

Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center

Dinner Theater Fundraiser

October 29, 3005
5:00pm-7:30pm

Gwen Tunstall
(252) 257-6781

REACH of Clay County

Clay County

Health Department

Phone-a-Thon

October 3-6, 2005

Judith Alvarado (828)
389-0797

Wilkes County Community College

Wilkes County

Student Services Lobby

Silent Witness Initiative and These Hands Don't Hurt display

October 3-6, 2005

Lynda Black
(336) 838-6148

Domestic Violence Shelter and Services

New Hanover County

Riverfront Park , Downtown Wilmington

Take Back the Night March and Rally

October 6, 2005
7:30pm
 

Angel Funk
(910)
343-0703

Domestic Violence Shelter and Services

New Hanover County

Appreciation Days

Judges
District Attorney
Law Enforcement
Clerk of Court
Media

October 6
October 13

October 20
October 27
October 27

Angel Funk
(910)
343-0703

Women's Commission

Mecklenburg County

Golf Tournament

 

October 18

Mike Sexton
(704) 432-1568

Wesley Shelter

Wilson County

TBD

Videoconference: Statewide video Conference: Responding to Violence Against Women

October 14

Patricia Peykar
(252)
291-2344
 

Wesley Shelter

Wilson County

Wesley Shelter

Candlelight Vigil and Ceremony

October 27

Patricia Peykar
(252)
291-2344

Domestic Violence Resource Center

Alexander County

Taylorsville

"What do you think?" Radio Program Broadcast

October 10th & 20th
5:00pm-5:30pm

Ingrid Townsend
(828)
635-8850

Domestic Violence Resource Center

Alexander County

Matheson Park

Pumpkin Painting and DV info

October 15th, 2005

Ingrid Townsend
(828)
635-8850

Domestic Violence Resource Center

Alexander County

Apple Festival

DV Booth

October 15th, 2005

Ingrid Townsend
(828)
635-8850

Family Abuse Services of Alamance County

Alamance County

Ramada Inn

"Purple Ribbon Gala"
Fashion Show & Silent Auction

October 6, 2005
6:00pm

Amy Kline
(336)
226-5982

Family Violence Coalition of Yancey County

Yancey County

Local
Wal-Mart

Host informational table at the "Speaking of Women's Health" event

October 15, 2005
10am-5pm

Ron Gregory
(828) 682-1186

Family Violence Coalition of Yancey County

Yancey County

Mt. Mitchell Biker's Association

Assist at the annual Toy Run

October 29, 2005
12pm-4pm

Ron Gregory
(828) 682-1186

My Sister's House, Inc.

Nash and Edgecombe Counties

Nash Community College

Candlelight Vigil

October 17, 2005
6:30pm

Donna Allred
(252) 462-0366

SAFE of Harnett County, Inc.

Harnett County

Central Carolina Community College – Harnett Campus

Candlelight Vigil

October 27, 2005
6pm
 

Carisa Moore
(910) 893-7233

 South Carolina :

From Linda Snelling:

This Silent Witness Project is dedicated to the victim's of Horry and Georgetown Counties ( Myrtle Beach ), South Carolina .  It's been a tough year for us; there have been a total of thirteen domestic violence murders in just these two counties.

This year we will be at Coastal Carolina University and our guest speaker will be Henry McMaster, our Attorney General, followed by Greg Hembree, our Solicitor.  There have been several changes in domestic violence laws this year and we are fortunate that both of these men are advocates for women's rights.  This is the second year the project will be held on Coastal Carolina's campus and we enjoy participation from a lot of the students.

There will be a new project added this year, dedicated to the children that have lost their lives to domestic violence.  Two years ago the laws in South Carolina were changed and children are no longer covered under domestic violence laws.  I felt it was extremely important that the children are still remembered.  My idea for the children's project was a picture of a playground with the children playing (there are six children).  Watching over the playground will be the image of Lt. Randy Gerald, a local police officer that lost his life when he stopped to assist a woman being assaulted by her boyfriend.  There will be small plaques with the names and ages of the children.  Kim Clayton, local artist and owner of Blackwater Gallery, has donated her time and talent to create the project and has allowed us to have prints made to be sold for a fundraiser.

 Texas :

From Patty Perez:

We are preparing for Texas ' Unveiling of Silent Witnesses Tuesday, October 4 on the steps of our state Capitol building.  Our governor's wife will speak, as well as our director.  I have been researching stories and in contact with two survivor's families and their advocates who each survived their husbands' attempt to kill them who we hope will speak at the event.  In each case, their husbands did kill themselves.  We are honoring the women killed in Texas , however this year we are also highlighting the fact that Texas programs and shelters helped an estimated 88,000 victims of family violence in 2004.

We are also planning to add the reading of the victim's names this year, as our state survivor's caucus becomes involved in the project for the first time.  Unfortunately, their vigil, which is held at our annual conference, was canceled along with the conference as it was in Houston two weekends after Katrina hit.  We knew that the need for hotel space and the difficulties faced by our many domestic violence programs in the area in meeting the needs of both evacuees and Texas victims would deter from attendance

Virginia :From Angela Phillips:

Franklin County Family Resource Center in Rocky Mount , VA is working on a Silent Witness Exhibit for October!

 Washington :

Lauren Willner the Sexual Assault Prevention Projects Assistant at Gonzaga University in Eastern Washington State would like to display the silhouettes on our campus and is starting on the exhibit for Gonzaga!

 NATIONAL NEWS:

From Fay Choban:

Fay Choban and Helen Bowers, my mother-in-law are very excited announce that our book has arrived. You can read more about the book, order on line or print a form to order with a check at http://www.usucceed.com/helen

My Light at the End of the Tunnel: The journey from abandoned child and abused wife to loved woman
A Minnesota woman's survival story
Helen Bowers, 83 year old Maplewood MN resident, and has written the story of her life as an abandon child raised in an orphanage and a survivor of a physically and mentally abusive marriage. Helen, enters her dark tunnel in 1930 when she and her four brothers are abandoned by
her parents and sent the /State// Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children/ in Owatonna, MN/. /She/ /describes daily life in the orphanage, being sent to working homes and the abuse she received in some of those homes. Helen gets married on her 18^th birthday and trades
the state as her keeper for a new husband as her keeper. She writes about life in the 1940's when she is a victim of abuse with no where to go. She nurses four severely ill children, deals with her own serious mental depression, including months of hospitalization receiving electric and insulin shock treatments. Eventually she attempts to flee from the abuse and gets invaluable help from a young lawyer, Harold LeVander, who later became a Minnesota Governor.

The difficulties of her life could not break her and helped give her the determination to work with H.H. Humphrey to bring her mother-in-law out of Romania in 1958.

After years of living in a dark tunnel where life seems hopeless, she finally receives answers to her prayers. She gains confidence and meets people who help her turn her life around. The tragedy and sorrow of the first forty years are left behind and she tells us about the next forty years. Life still holds many surprises for her. She becomes a loved woman with a rich, happy life and eventually marries her prince charming.

Helen and her daughter-in law Fay Choban worked together as a team for
two years to write this story of Helen's abandonment, abuse, survival
and success.

More information is available at http://www.usucceed.com/helen

* Reviews*

*Harvey Ronglien, Historian and ** Owatonna ** State Schooler from
1932-1943 writes this:*

"What a great read! The life of a woman deprived of love throughout her
childhood and much of her adult life. She's finally rewarded when after
years of lost love she meets her Prince Charming. A story told in depth,
it holds your interest through the book. A life of despair that ends
happily. A must read!"

* Janet O. Hagberg, author of ** Real Power **, healer, quilter says this:*

"Helen Bowers and her daughter-in-law Fay bring to life the
heartbreaking yet healing story of a young woman's strength and resilience in the face of multiple tragedies. The image that comes to
mind is an heirloom quilt that was ravaged by misuse and neglect but
which has now been lovingly restitched and restored to its original beauty."

From Lois A Herman :

Rural Battered Women:

Battered women living in rural areas have many of the same experiences as battered women everywhere.

But rural battered women have certain experiences and face certain barriers that are unique to rural settings.

Batterers commonly isolate their victims as one tactic of maintaining power and control over their victims. They frequently:

§ Refuse access to family vehicles or prevent a woman from getting a driver's license;

§ Ridicule her in front of friends and family so that she's reluctant to have them come to her home;

§ Accuse her of flirting or having affairs and because of this suspicion, beating her for even limited contact with another person;

§ Remove the telephone when leaving the home or calling her every hour to monitor her whereabouts;

§ Threaten or beat her when she returns from an outing with women friends;

§ Threaten to kill her if she tells anyone about the abuse.

A woman isolated in these ways has a difficult time escaping from a violent partner. She fears leaving. She fears asking someone for help. Battered women everywhere experience some form of isolation as controlled by their partner, but for rural battered women the isolation becomes magnified by geographical isolation. Other rural factors can have an impact on a rural battered woman's isolation and changes of safe shelter. Consider that:

§ A rural battered woman may not have phone service;

§ Usually no public transportation exists, so if she leaves she must use a family vehicle;

§ Police and medical response to a call may be a long time in arriving;

§ Rural areas have fewer resources available to women—jobs, childcare, housing, and health care. Easy access to these resources is limited by distance;

§ Extreme weather conditions often exaggerate isolation—cold, snow, and mud regularly affect life in rural areas and may extend periods of isolation with an abuser;

§ Poor roads thwart transportation;

§ Seasonal work may mean months of unemployment on a regular basis and result in women being trapped with an abuser for long periods of time;

§ Hunting weapons are common to rural homes and everyday tools like axes, chains, mauls, and pitchforks are also potential weapons;

§ Alcohol (and drug) use, which often increases in winter months when rural people are underemployed and isolated in their homes, usually affects the frequency and severity of abuse;

§ Traveling to the "big city" can be intimidating to rural battered women and city attitudes may seem strange and unaccepting of her ways;

§ A woman's bruises may fade or heal before she sees a neighbor, and working with farm tools and equipment can provide an easy exp lana tion of her injuries;

§ Farm families are often one-income families and a woman frequently has no money of her own to support herself and her children;

Fifteenth Annual National Conference on Domestic Violence, "Beyond the Bars: Transforming Lives...Strengthening Communities".  

Hello.  This year the National College of District Attorneys will present the Fifteenth Annual National Conference on Domestic Violence, "Beyond the Bars: Transforming Lives...Strengthening Communities".  This year's conference will be held during Domestic Violence Awareness month, from October 23-2 7 in Reno , Nevada .  This letter is to inform you of our conference and to invite you and the "Silent Witness National Initiative" to submit materials to be displayed or distributed to our attendees in our Domestic Violence Resource   Center at the conference.  Every year the Resource Center provides information from many different organizations and offices throughout the nation, providing attendees with information on domestic violence.  The information usually consists of flyers, handouts, brochures, books, posters, etc.  The Resource Center is an opportunity to not only provide more information on domestic violence itself, but it is also an opportunity to get more information out about the "Silent Witness National Initiative"  to attendees nationwide.  This information will be made available to judges, law enforcement personnel, therapists, crisis advocates, health care and mental health professionals, parole and probation officers, physicians, prosecutors, shelter workers, social workers, victim advocates, clergy, court administrators, paralegals, dispatch operators, legislators, school administrators, educators, survivors, and children and adult protective services personnel, member of faith communities and organized religion, and any other professionals who work on behalf of survivors of domestic violence and their families, that will be attending our conference.

IF ANYONE IS PLANNING ON ATTENDING THIS CONFERENCE AND COULD BRING ALLOW AN EXHIBIT PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I will give you resources and information to take with you!

FYI. On Oct 20th there will be a documentary on domestic violence and
children. Check your local listing to confirm airing time.

For more information: go to this website:
http://www.batteredmotherscustodyconference.org/

 Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
       - Mark Twain

Sincerely,

Cassie Pritchard

Cassie.pritchard@gmail.com

(405)744-1113

-- Cassie Pritchard
Stinchcomb and Booker Suites
Residence Director

"Vision without action is merely a dream.
Action without vision just passes the time.
Vision with action can change the world."
-Joel Barker

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