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October 1  Newsletter


Dear Friends,

It is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. YES. REMEMBER THE WOMEN. HONOR THEM.  PLEDGE IN THEIR NAMES TO ELIMINATE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOMICIDES IN THIS COUNTRY BY THE YEAR 2010.You are all to be commended for the hard work you do to make this such a special month for all of the Silent Witnesses, for their families and for this country.

Let our special message this month be that we are healing this country of domestic violence. The murder rates are coming down and almost all the states are getting involved in the Results Projects. Silent Witness is becoming a household word. We are seeing perpetrators being healed in many states now with the new treatment models. We are seeing cooperation with the judges when they know we want to work with them. We are seeing communities that have more hope. We are involving more men in the healing process and in Silent Witness vigils. We are moving forward. We are healing ourselves. We are healing this country. You are all to be commended. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We love you angels. Please send us stories and anecotes about what happened to you during the month of October, or to other people who saw the Witnesses. It is so inspiring to hear the healing stories.

 

WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:
Marty Tuttle (Silent Witness supporter),Annie Neal (Multmomah County, Oregon), Sheila Wellstone/Molly Wilson (Senate, Silent Witness advocate),Leslie Starsoneck (DV Commission, North Carolina), Connie Fox (New email address), Susan Rush (Greensboro, Jr. League),Laura Figuero (Texas Council-Austin), Jerrell Caskey (Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas), Nancy Kiernan/Jane Etheridge (Murray State University, Women's Center), Lisa Gallo (Jr. League, Duluth), Cortney Briggs (Jr. League, Oklahoma City), Melinda Sparks (General MIlls, Lodi), Sherri Alper (Silent Witness Coordinator,NCJW, Nashville), Beryl Rock (Duluth-Women of Nations), Jodi Finkelstein (Attorney Generals Office, Maryland, SW Coordinator), Family Crisis Center (Rexurd, Idaho).

 

STATES ON BOARD FOR OCTOBER EVENTS:
31 States so far. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington State, Wyoming.

 

NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES

NEW YORK: The New York NCJW is sponsoring a week of domestic violence events featuring the Silent Witnesses. The main event is October 24 in Central Park. Roberta Pinchus is our contact there. Can't wait to hear about the details of this one.
*Go New York. Make a big impact on the city this month.

NORTH CAROLINA: The Jr. League of Greensboro is having a debut of their new Silent Witnesses at their meeting on October 3. Their rally in Greensboro is on October 20 downtown. They have 20 silhouettes that are already being used around Greensboro.
*This is great news. The original set of Silent Witnesses is being spread across NC now. A whole new set is up and ready to go in Raleigh. Great collaboration!

ARKANSAS: This summary is from Kerri Bangert,of the Arkansas Coalition: The membership of the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence are using the Silent Witness in some capacity almost every day of October. Some of the programs planned by member agencies are: Candle light vigils, Courthouse Displays, Awareness Concerts. Little Rock Air Force Base is having an open house which usually accomodates 200,000 people and they will be displaying the Silent Witness. Community Response Teams are displaying the Silent Witness at several locations across the state. As for court watch programs Arkansas really doesn't have many up and running, but the Regional Coordinators are currently facilitating trainings for court watch programs.
*Thanks to Sharon Sigmon, Kerri and everyone who works at the Coalition in Arkansas. Great work.

Also from Arkansas: The LIttle Rock Air Force Base is creating their own set of Silent Witness figures. Jerrell Caskey is the lead on this and they plan to have their set ready for a large open house (up to a few hundred thousand!!) as mentioned, in October.
*Go Air Force. Thanks, Jerrell for this hard work and dedication to such a fine cause. We welcome you on board.

CALIFORNIA: From Wendy Hayward, of the San Francisco Jr League: The Junior League of San Francisco will be featuring the Silent Witness statues in their Next-To-New Shop & Consignment Boutique during the first two weeks of October ending on October 18th.
*Great way to introduce the Witnesses to the public. Way to go.

ILLINOIS: Debra Mize in Belleview, Southern Illinois, writes this: We are planning on exhibiting the Witnesses in numerous locations throughout the month. They will be seen at a proclamation statement in Cahokia, and at a civic meeting in Red Bud. We are presenting them in libraries throughout the 3 county area with reading lists and purple and white ribbon handouts. One library is also having us do a series of six speeches on various topics to coincide with the month. They will be on display at a Discover Fairview Hts day along with our clothesline project and at the E.St. Louis and Caseyville City Hall. We are also having a circuit court awards breakfast and they will be displayed. Last, but not least, we are planning a play (if it all comes together) written and performed by a local church group and are wanting to have a candlelight vigil afterwards.
*Isn't it exciting to hear how many different locations and events are planned with the Witnesses. Their stories will be told loudly and clearly. YES.

KENTUCKY: Connie Fox, our court watch mentor, is really busy. Here's the latest: I have a seat on the Judicial Domestic Violence Reform Committee and it was formed because of our role in court monitoring. I will be in Billings in Oct. doing a court Watch workshop and next week Patrick O"Donnell will be in Louisville filming our Project for a future documentary.
*Quite a lot of excitement in Kentucky. Can't wait to see the documentary.

VERMONT: Our friends in Vermont have reactivated their Silent Witness exhibit and they are planning on an event in October. Hurrah for Margo, and PJ and friends. We applaud you all for your hard work and dedication on this. YES.
*It's wonderful to see exhibits reactivated. Maybe they need a little R & R just like the rest of us.

TEXAS: There will be an event in San Antonio,Texas with the Silent Witnesses. We don't have all the details but we'll keep you posted.
*Go Texas. Keep us informed of those details.

OHIO: Dorothy Lemmey of rural Ohio updates us with this: Our Eastshore Unitarian Universalist church will be commemorating the month of October. We will be updating the shields on our figures this coming weekend (did some library research), painting damage, filling holes and dusting them off. October 1 - 31 we will staking and displaying the ten figures (10 women killed in our rural county the last 20 years) in front of our church next to a state highway. I anticipate a strong reaction from the drivers on their way to and from work, on their way to shopping or to visit friends. While driving in an unconscious manner to their destination their glazed over consciousness will be jolted into awareness by the sudden appearance on the side of the road of the 10 silent but shouting figures that murder of women in intimate relationships does occurs in this middle class community. We will carry the figures in a local "Walk against Abuse" October 7th sponsored by the local shelter and I will be making a short 10-minute speech. Our Sunday church will be based on Domestic violence complete with a few figures and a song composed specifically for our figures and poems. We hired a song composer to write the song and I am looking forward to it. So we are alive and well in northeast Ohio.
*You certainly are alive and well. What a great idea about the Silent Witnesses beside the roadway. Please forward the song to us. WOW.

Stephanie Hughes writes from the Jr. League of Columbus that they are passing along their Silent Witness exhibit to CHOICES, a domestic violence organization in Columbus. She met with the Executive Director Gail Helling and Beth Ferguson telling them about Silent Witness, the web site and our newsletter. CHOICES For Victims of Domestic Violence provides Central Ohio with comprehensive domestic violence services ranging from hotline, shelter and counseling to legal advocacy, outreach, referral and educational programs. CHOICES is an active member of the newly formed Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence. The Coalition, founded by Abigail Wexner, seeks to provide a coordinated, community approach to the issue of domestic violence. CHOICES will soon implement a Court Watch Program in Franklin County.
*We welcome CHOICES to the Silent Witness network. We're thrilled to have you.

MISSOURI: Nanci Bobrow reports that Missouri has a big month coming up. The Silent Witnesses will be moving around the state all month. They will be in displays, in marches and at conferences. Three statues will be at the Criminal Justice Center in Clayton in a permanent display. And on Oct. 13 they will appear at the Jewish Council on Domestic Violence at the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis. For those of you who know Sally Katzif, our data collection mentor from Missouri, who was at the last steering committee meeting in St. Louis in June, she just had a hysterectomy. We wish her a speedy recovery and send our best wishes. Her email is katzifsal@aol.com is you would like to send her the best.
*This is great work, Missouri.Saturating the state with Silent Witnesses. And this might be the first permanent display that I know of in addition to the permanent display of one of the original SW in the History Center of Minnesota.

MAINE: A great idea from Wayland Linscott, who wrote us in the last newsletter about men leading vigils for women who've been murdered. It will be another test of our mettle tonight; its already pouring and gusty out this afternoon. (I stopped in at a local dry cleaners this morning and asked forthree of their plastic dry cleaning bags. When I explained to the owner that they would act as "raincoats" for the Witnesses who will be going to the vigil tonight, he was very glad to help, and gave me twice what I asked for "in case they tear" as he put it! These raincoats and their source might be another idea to share with other states when they face poor weather at rallies, etc.
*Thanks for the great idea. This will keep the Witnesses warm and dry. Sometimes I put my jacket around one of them when she's with me. It is a touching thing to do.

IOWA: Sharon Boulden writes: Iowa's Silent Witness exhibit from Tama County has been on display three times in the last two months: at the Black Hawk County Dept. of Corrections Seminar, at the Meskwaki Health Fair on the Meskwaki Settlement, and at the First Congregational Church in Waterloo, IA. They will be at the Meskwaki Settlement again in September for a Women's Wellness Conference.Tama County's Domestic Violence Task Force is focusing on the schools and churches to sponsor October events. The Witnesses will also be displayed individually throughout the County, in doctor's offices, schools, banks, etc.
*Thanks, Sharon and Company for all the good work in getting the Witnesses around Iowa. Schools and churches are excellent places to tell the story.

RHODE ISLAND Here's the latest info from Nancy Rafi in Rhode Island We have had two DV deaths in a matter of 5 weeks. We're going to be having a community memorial service on September 27th up in North Providence, and have already been asked to make a Silent Witness for her by her family. We'll be coming together to celebrate her life, and to also talk about DV in the community (I'll be talking about my own personal experiences with DV IN North Providence -should be a good connection for everyone - it DOES happen here). Then we'll do a piece on how to survive a homicide, and also a piece by the Samaritans about suicide, since the perpetrator committed suicide. We'll close it up by having a candlelight vigil in the peace garden attached to the church, with music and personal remembrances, followed by refreshments. The great part about all of this is that we've been working with the Mayor's office, and the response from the community has been overwhelming. Everyone is donating things from food, to flowers, to music, to candles, you name it! There certainly is a need for this and we are so excited to be a small part of it. AND I finally made a contact on the campus of Brown University and we are going to be speaking there on October 26th! I have been given carte blanche to put the program together, so we have rallied the troops and have already lined up several speakers to appear.
*Much collaboration going on in Rhode Island. So sad to hear about more women being murdered but the community is rallying around the families. That is so healing.

TENNESSEE: Sherri Alper is the coordinator for Silent Witness for the Nashville NCJW. This October they plan to put on events within the Jewish community, in synogogues and with teenagers. Sherri's co-chair Laurie Rummel moved to Arizona this summer so we're hoping to work with her in Phoenix! Also Alice Zimmerman of NCJW is coordinating a program to help women fill out orders for protection at the court house. They call their program SAVV Special Advocates for Victims of Violence. They offer this service two days at week at the courthouse in Nashville and have trained many people to be part of this program.
*Thanks for all the hard work, Sherri, Laurie and Alice. We really appreciate you.

ALASKA: Marcia McKenzie writes to us about the Alaska Silent Witness event - YES! I have confirmed that our Witnesses will be displayed in our Federal Building here in Juneau during October inconjunction with the "clothesline project". So, Alaska IS on board!
*We knew you would be. Go Alaska.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Deb Aden (Rape and Domestic Abuse Center) in Souix Falls writes: Here is an update from Sioux Falls, SD. We are having Rita Smith from the National Coalition speak in a public forum prior to David Pelzer, author of A CHILD CALLED IT, and other books. We are having the senior high schools make banners and the school Oral Interps present. The Silent Witnesses will be displayed all around town as well as on display at the Rally. We have the Mayor making a proclamation on Oct4th and a workshop planned on Oct 13 for all those who work in DV.
*Great work Deb. a lot of education is going on in South Dakota. Thanks.

MINNESOTA: The Original Silent Witnesses are busy in October appearing at several wide ranging events. We now have six exhibits in Minnesota in different parts of the state so we don't have to take our original Witnesses so far. By the way, we still use the original 27 Silent Witnesses and they keep telling their powerful stories, nine years later. Pat Francisco, the current coordinator and a member of the group that developed Silent Witness says that next to birthing her son the work she does with Silent Witness is the most important thing she has done in her life. That is quite a testimonial. The original Witnesses will be at an annual Walk for Peace and other events for a week in Owatonna. Then they go to the twentieth anniversary celebration of DAP in Minneapolis. They they are off to a First Judicial District Council training for three days. In addition they appear at St. Catherine's College, a local Shelter (Cornerstone) and at Landmark Center for an arts celebration in early November. One of the other exhibits is in Duluth. Lisa Galo coordinates the new Silent Witness exhibit for the Jr. League of Duluth. They have six figures of their own based on women killed in Duluth, and are planning a day of remembrance for all families of victims. This will be a powerful event for the League as well as the families.
*This is so great, so see the Silent Witness exhibit spreading to other cities in so many states so that each community personalizes their own Witnesses. Go Lisa.

 

NEWS FROM NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS:

CORPORATE INVOLVEMENT WITH SILENT WITNESS EXHIBITS IN OCTOBER:
State Farm (Ohio), Bell Atlantic Boston, Bell Atlantic Mobil (New Jersey), Levi Strauss, General MIlls is working with the Women's Center in Lodi to cooridnate a Silent Witness exhibit and related programming for March of 2000. State Farm in Ohio is having a month long awareness program with a fund drive for a shelter, brown bag lunches, email notices, teddy bears donated for children and the Silent Witness exhibit.

WOMEN ARE SACRED CONFERENCE IN FLAGSTAFF
Beryl Rock informs us that Mending the Sacred Hoop, a Native American initiative is sponsoring a conference in Flagstaff Arizona on Dec. 6-9. It is called Women are Sacred and will focus on domestic violence in Native American Nations. Contact Beryl for more information. brock@duluth-model.org

I leave you today with a quote from Teresa of Avila who lived during the sixteenth century, during the Inquisition. How's that for tension. "My dear, Power and Courage and Love. One without the others is NOTHING."

Cheers,
Janet

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