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October 4, 2002

Dear Friends,
Peace to you this October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. May we all begin with peace and healing in our own hearts and then spread that peace and healing to the rest of our world. I've just returned from North Carolina and Connecticut and I am full of gratefulness for the energy and great programming that is going on in these places. You'll see my musings about these trips in this and the next newsletter. Please know that you are alldeeply appreciated and it is with you that we place our hope for the day we will all live in peace.

Jane Taylor, (Coordinator, Shelter Services, United Family Services,
Charlotte, NC), Michael Spinks (Communications Coordinator, United Family
Services of Charlotte), Angel Funk (Wilmington, NC Silent Witness
coordinator), Sarah Delcourt (Outreach Coordinator, Helpmate, Inc.,
Asheville, NC), Ingrid Brown (Social Crime Prevention, Capetown, South
Africa), Pam Macleod-Lima (New Bedford Center for DV and Rape Services, New
Bedford, MA), Twyla Sable (Pittsburgh NCJW, new email address), Andrea
Williams (Cayman Islands, new email address), Durelle Price (DV Activist,
Franklin, TN), Beth Ducklo (Nashville, TN NCJW/Silent Witness coordinator),
Debra Betz (Culpeper County Crime Victims Program, VA), Ersie Barensburg
(Activist, DV angel, Slidell, LA), Dana Knighten (SW Coordinator, Hartford
County, MD), Jocelynn Hosea-Davis (New SW exhibit, Edgewood College,
Madison, WI), Carla Kock (Family and Children's Service, Mpls, MN), Cat
Horzewski (student, Mt. Mary College, Milwaukee, WI), Helen Pena,
Jacqueline Torres (current and former SW Coordinator, CT Coalition Against
DV), BJacobs (Breaking Free, MN)

States on Board for October events: 31 states on board so far.
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana (new exhibit), Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma (new exhibit), Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin (new exhibit) , Wyoming.

As far as we know, there is no SW activity in Hawaii, Utah, or Washington DC. If anyone knows of anyone in these locations that would like to start an exhibit, please let us know.

Countries on Board for October-November events: Silent Witness and 16 Days of Activism Canada, Cayman Islands, Germany, Hungary, South Africa, United States.


Marcia McKenzie reports this summary of the Alaska exhibit:
My understanding is that here in Juneau the Witnesses will be in a protected display in a mall for the first half of October, then they will fly to Anchorage and appear at a Take Back the Night event/auction run b y the women's shelter up there.

*Thanks for this report, Marcia. I'm still awed by the fact that the Alaska SW exhibit has to be flown whenever it appears outside Juneau.

Here's the summary of the incredible Chicago Police Department SW involvement. Thanks to Cindy Wolfson for the scoop:

On Monday, Sept. 30, Mayor Daley is expected to announce the new Silent Witness Exhibit for the Chicago Police Department at a press conference at police headquarters at 35th & Michigan at 10:00am.

The exhibit will consist of 40 figures each telling the story of a Chicago woman who has died as a result of intimate partner violence. Some stories will be translated into Spanish, Polish and Korean. The exhibit will be housed at headquarters and will be available to all city police, who plan to use it for their community outreach and education programs. The exhibit heightens awareness of domestic violence by providing a tangible image of its devastation. Police have found the exhibit helps to generate discussion about painful family relationships.

The Chicago North Shore Section of the National Council of Jewish Women secured a grant from the Attorney General to fund the exhibit. NCJW is the sponsor of the Illinois Silent Witness Initiative.

*Isn't it great to have the police so much involved. I think this is the largest example of police involvement with SW in the US. Great work Cindy and friends.

Jan Abbey sends us the summary of Kansas SW events this October: To begin Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Kansas Silent Witness Exhibit will be on display at a community-wide prayer breakfast that will be held on Tuesday, October 1st at the Hyatt Hotel in Kansas City. The prayer breakfast will offer the support of the interfaith religious community as we come together to gain spiritual renewal from one another. This event is sponsored by the Metropolitan Family Violence Coalition, the coalition made up of Greater Kansas City¹s six domestic violence shelters.

On October 5th the Kansas exhibit will go to Safe Homes, Inc. in Wellington, KS and will be on display at the Wellington Courthouse until October 13th. On October 15th through October 18th the Kansas Children¹s Service League will transfer the exhibit to the State Capitol of Topeka for display at the Governor¹s Conference on Child Abuse. On October 19th the exhibit will be back in the Kansas City area for SAFEHOME¹s annual Will Shields (KC Chiefs) Red Flags of Domestic Violence Flag Football Tournament. This event will consist of teams from area police and fire departments, corporations and organized individual teams. On October 20th Women¹s Transitional Care Services in Lawrence, KS will use the exhibit for their annual "Take Back the Night"march. The exhibit will remain in Lawrence, KS for the remainder of the month.

In addition to all of that she writes: Very busy with things at SAFEHOME as we embark on the major undertaking of a fundraising campaign to buy land and build a new SAFEHOME campus that will include shelter, admin office and outreach counseling offices. Our programs are growing beyond the capacity of our current locations, the fastest growing programs being outreach counseling services and our transitional living program.

*Jan, thank you for this update. You are, indeed, growing and will be able to serve many more women in deeper ways through this enhanced programming.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's representative Ms. Twilah Shipley attended an unveiling of the SW figures on September 30th. About 30 members of the community, media and Unitarian Universalist Church members attended this ceremony. Some of the candidates running for office also attended and there was a follow-up article in the local newspaper. About 14 church members sang "No More Silence" which was a powerful vibration on this fall day. The figures will stand along Rt. 22 for the month of October as they did last year.

Dana Knighten, (winner of a national award for writing) the organizer for this year's display of the SW figures opened the ceremony with this statement:

I became part of the Silent Witness program this past June, when Dr. Dorothy Lemmey, who founded our program, asked if I'd be willing to take on the position of program coordinator. I thought of all the places I've lived in my life, of the memories of domestic violence I associate with each one. I thought of the words on the Silent Witness banner, "Break the Silence." And I thought of the times in my own life I've been silent. I'd like to share with you today the reasons why I said yes to Dorothy's invitation:

December 1996, Norrisville, Maryland: My husband and I are driving up to a house we're thinking of buying. At the head of the driveway, we notice two things: the peaceful home in the woods we've come to see, and the spray of bullet holes in the next-door-neighbor's garage door. Months later, after we've bought the house, we learn the story: Several years and one set of neighbors earlier, a man had held his wife hostage in that garage with a full can of gasoline and a box of matches. He threatened to set his wife on fire if the police came any closer. As the SWAT team fired on the garage, the couple's children scrambled down the rocky hillside to a neighbor's home, and safety. I stare at the bullet holes in silence.

Summer 1985, Tallahassee, Florida: I'm reading a book by my open front window one night when shouts erupt from the house across the street. The sounds grow louder with every passing second: a man's voice, raw with rage, and a woman's, strung tight with panic. Finally the woman is screaming. I run for the phone. The man I'm married to at the time stops me and says, "Don't call the police! I don't want to get involved!" I slowly put down the phone. I am a grown woman, and I have just surrendered my voice.

Fall 1969, Prattville, Alabama: I am thirteen years old. My two favorite magazines are Teen and Tiger Beat. I have posters of Paul Revere and the Raiders on my bedroom walls. I daydream about Woodstock and Haight Ashbury.

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