October 1 Newsletter
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:
STATES ON BOARD FOR OCTOBER EVENTS:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org is you would like to send her the
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
NEWS FROM NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS:
CORPORATE INVOLVEMENT WITH SILENT WITNESS EXHIBITS IN
WOMEN ARE SACRED CONFERENCE IN FLAGSTAFF
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."