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Newsletter for October 13th, 2000

Dear Friends,

I am utterly amazed again by the strength of the human spirit in the world. Last week the Serbs took back their country in an awesome series of events. It strengthens my faith in humanity every time it happens!! Even though there is great unrest elsewhere, there is always peace breaking out as well.

A belated Happy New Year to our Jewish friends and a very happy and bountiful fall to all of you.  This newsletter is so full of October events that I am in awe of all of you angels out there.

Lynne Marchese (Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pittsburgh), Pam and Jim Nolan (SW Coordinators, Fairmont, West Virginia), Jo Manson (Zonta, Virginia), Laverne Knighton (Target Stores, community Relations), South Dakota DV Network (new email address), Survivor Adult Abuse Center (Warrensburg, MO), Susan Pederson (WomenSafe, Northfield, MN), Kathryn Keith (Younger Women's Club, London, KY), Rose Mary Boerboom (New email address)



Lucia Nordstrom and Joanne Coghill report on SW activity in Los Angeles:

The witnesses will be at the general meeting of the Jr. League of LA on October 10th. They will take part in the DV program through the YMCA and LA County-USC the week of the 16th - 22nd. On the 19th they will be at The House of Ruth; on the 27th they will be at the District Attorneys Award banquet, at which M'Leigh will speak regarding SW. Finally, they are part of the Bus Tour.

The Bus Tour is a half day event where JLLA and the community boards a bus to visits our project sites. Some of the projects (like SW) we are unable to visit the site, so a video or presentation to discuss the project is taken place either during the bus ride or at one of the projects. We are hoping for three buses. 

*Yes, this is great news. All around the LA area at a variety of venues. Tell us how the bus tour goes!!



The BPW/16 Days Of Activism Campaign against Domestic Abuse, in conjunction with The Cayman Islands National Steering Committee Caribbean Regional Domestic Violence Project and CITN invite you to join us on our 1st Annual Silent Witness March to promote "Zero Tolerance by 2005".

DATE: Wednesday October 18th 2000. TIME: 12.30pm to 1.30pm

ROUTE: From the GLASS HOUSE to the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY via the Police Station, the Immigration Department and the Court House.


*We're with you all in the Cayman Islands as you hold your debut event. Thanks to Angela Doyle and her committee for all these efforts. Healing will happen. Believe.


News that one of our regional directors picked up about activity in Colorado:

Colorado started a new program yesterday. In one of the local parks, (indoor facilities if the weather turns bad) they have set up chairs for each woman killed as well as one that represents all the unsolved cases. Each chair has the woman's story on it along with mementos from the families/friends. NO ONE is allowed to sit on the chairs, and they are strategically placed around the room so if there is a group activity going on, there are empty chairs all around the room.

*What a neat idea and so moving, to see the empty chairs. Good going Colorado.


A mote from Jan Fuhr, our coordinator in Danbury: 

Tomorrow night (10/6), the Friday night Sabbath service at the United Jewish Center in Danbury will be dedicated to the victims of DV. There will be a community educator from the Danbury Women's Center who will speak and I will be reading the poem that you sent out written by Renee Heustess called "They Lived". Also, the two Silent Witnesses that represent local women will be at the service. I think it will make quite an impact.

By the way, this entire event came about when I first saw the poem in the Silent Witness newsletter. I knew it had to be read to a larger audience. Therefore, I called the rabbi last spring and we set aside the first Friday in October. Not only is it DV Awareness Month but is also the Friday between Rosh Hashona and Yom Kippur when Jews around the world are suppose to remember their transgressions against their fellow "man" and to ask for forgiveness from not only God but the person they wronged and to promise to not repeat their hurting ways.  So in reality, it was the newsletter that got this ball rolling. Thanks

*thanks to you Jan.  Involving SW things along with religious traditions is moving and powerful. And it allows for more healing in those settings. Thanks.


I (Janet) incorrectly identified the successful Coordinated Community Response as being from Bloomington, Indiana instead of Bloomington, Illinois. My humble apologies. The correction should read that Charley Reynard is the State's Attorney in McLean County, Bloomington, Illinois! 


Here's a sweet note from an 84 year old whose email address is "dancing DKH." She is a friend of SW and helped bring the exhibit to the Presbyterian women's national conference.

Janet --I appreciated your Special Edition very much. The facts you gave are truly amazing and to think all this has been accomplished in ten years. I attribute a lot of this success to your constantly reminding us how important this issue is --and that all of us need to give a bit of ourselves to help it to grow. Please know that we are very grate- full of all the time and effort you give to this program. Dotty 

*This is truly a world wide collaboration now. We are all in this together and together we will heal the world.

And Minnesota has yet another Silent Witness exhibit (I think this makes seven in all). This one is in Northfield and can be used by the whole southern third of the state. WomenSafe is the sponsor and they have created 27 Silhouettes and 8 children's silhouettes to represent those children who view violence. Their debut is today in Northfield. More power to them and thanks to Susan Pederson for all the work on this new exhibit. To book this exhibit email Susan at dlpeders@rconnect.com


This news from Jerri MIller, our stalwart coordinator in Montana:

By the way, I have some more info on Montana for you. Almost every town in the state (over 6,000 in pop) is having candlelight vigils starting about 10/10 through the end of the month. We are also making plans for our big push with the Legislature this next session. At lunch on Thursday October 26 during the Self Mastery workshop here in Helena, along with Janet as a speaker, we will have the Lewis & Clark County Attorney who will most likely be our next AG. Super guy who will probably be the biggest help of all in getting some good anti-dv laws passed in this state.

*EVERY TOWN over 6,000. That is utterly amazing. We should be able to see candles all across Montana that month. This is phenomenal.


I just got a great picture from Gail Wiener on Long Island, with three of the NCJW members standing next to a Silent Witness along with Hilary Clinton. What a wonderful thing to see, Hilary with the Silent Witnesses. Thanks a lot Gail and Company for bringing this powerful message to the First Lady. YES.


Here is more good news from Gail Heller, Choices, Columbus, Ohio:

CHOICES is coordinating Silent Witness displays with many local businesses and corporations throughout October to raise employee awareness of domestic violence as it impacts the workplace. We are also working with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Office of Victim Services to have additional, new Witnesses made. This project is part of the Department's Community Justice effort in which inmates learn how their crime(s) impacted not only the victim but also the community as a whole. The Witnesses will be on display at the Corrections Training Academy during Community Justice Week in November.

*This is great work, to involve corporations in the reduction of DV. And the new Witnesses. WOW. Let us know what the reactions of the inmates are to the exhibit. 

And James Brown writes us from Cincinnati:

Attending Candlelight Vigils in the area. October 5, Batavia, Ohio and the Clermont County YWCA held their Candlelight Vigil. October 24, Women Helping Women - Cincinnati, Ohio will hold their Candlelight - "She Screams Without Sound". I will be doing a number of local training sessions in and around Cincinnati and then from October 18-24, I will be traveling South to Naples, FL. to work with the Collier County Sheriff, Judges, Prosecutors, Health Care Providers, Advocates and Survivors in a 2 day training seminar on Sexual Battery, Stalking, Domestic Violence and Lethality Assessment.

*GO James. Keep up the incredible work. We need all the collaboration with police officers that we can get. 


A little aside from Nancy Rafi, but one that you all need to know about:

PS: - We've decided to dedicate our march to John Peterson's memory and are putting his quote in our handouts. We thought it was appropriate since we're hosting Dr Stosny's perpetrator's healing program, and that John has been such a positive influence in our movement.

*Thanks, RI. This is truly a wonderful thing to do in John's honor. We are very moved. 
(John Peterson spoke at our march in Washington about being a former abusive husband. He and his wife, Diane, led the Vermont exhibit and then the Arizona exhibit. John died in April and we have now created an award in his name to honor the state that does the most to further effective perpetrator treatment each year.)


This great summary from our regional director describing Joanne Patterson's event in South Carolina:

They have a candlelight vigil planned for the 24th. The feel is more of a celebration with a survivor speaking, safe ways to get out etc. The Mayor will award at proclamation at this event. Joanne is very enthused and really wants you or another SW rep to visit any of their upcoming events. 

*We are excited that South Carolina is having such a celebration. We also received clippings from the paper. Very good photos of the Silent Witnesses being carried by individual family members. Poignant.


Stephanie Fong, a medical student in Dallas writes:

I'm a second year medical student at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. For the past 5 years, students have been organizing a Domestic Violence Awareness Week in order to raise awareness of this issue. As future physicians, we feel that it is imperative to learn about the tragedy of domestic violence and try to prevent it or at least recognize it.

Last year, the Silent Witness display was brought to Dallas and displayed at our school, where students, faculty and others were able to read about the victims. We would like information on doing this again this year.

*This is fabulous, that med students are getting involved with Silent Witness. More power to them!!

And a word from Vicky Garcia, in Laredo, Texas:

I'm glad to see that Yvonne sent in the latest in Laredo, Texas. For your records, I am sending you the link from the Laredo Morning Times. Today's (September 30th) has the first unveiling of the silent witness project for laredo (thanks to much work from Yvonne Gutierrez). IF you view it after Saturday, check the archives. The project was in the first two stories of the front page.
http://www.lmtonline.com/news/news.htm  The first links give you a view of just the story. The links a little further down give you the full page with pictures.

*This is wonderful. A way for all of to view the front page story of the Witnesses. Thanks, Vicky. 


A wonderful letter from Jo Manson to friends of Silent Witness who spoke at the first ever Virginia SW event sponsored by Zonta. I just thought you'd be really inspired by this!!

Dear Pat and Warren:

It is with heartfelt thanks that I am contacting you. Your presentation on Sunday at our special Zonta District 3 Governor's Event was incredible. Both you two personally and the Silent Witness program touched all our hearts. We are so excited to be able to champion this program in the State of Virginia and proud to be associated with wonderful people such as yourselves.

Janet, these two wonderful people delivered a touching, caring, and informative program. We appreciated them taking their personal time to deliver such an important message. It is with great pride that we look forward to working with you and other Silent Witness-related programs to spread the word in our communities. Durwood and the printer delivered both the Silent Witness Figure and the small paper dolls so we had visibility and impact throughout the entire conference. Thank you for helping us get started!

We are going to take the photo and a brief story and submit it to our international publication (a quarterly magazine) to further promote the Silent Witness program and how it can work so nicely with the Zonta International Program. 

Again, thanks to everyone for your encouragement, inspiration, and education about Silent Witnesses. We will never forget it!

*Nor will we forget that you took on the state of Virginia and produced an exhibit and an opening event in just a few months. You are truly an inspiration to all of us.


A report on recent activities of the SW in Washington from Holly at the State Coalition. 

They have a voice recording line with the Silent Witness info on it. Things such as how to secure the exhibit, arrange for transportation, etc. Their witnesses are scheduled out for the next 2 months, and they have been working closely with a group called Peace-Health, which is a church and hospital organization. The witnesses will be displayed in churches, hospitals and a community college over the next 2 months. All of their current witnesses (31 of them) are from the year 1995, and they are now trying to decide if and/or how they want to change it.

*Great job Washington. There is a lot of activity out there. Keep up the good work.


A note from our new SW Coordinators Jim and Pam Nolan in West Virginia. We just discovered that there is an active exhibit in WVA and we are thrilled.

We were very pleased to host the WV Silent Witness Exhibit at West Virginia University. It will be on display all this week in one of the lounges in the student center. There are lots of students passing by the exhibit each day.  We opened the exhibit on Monday night with a very interesting panel presentation. We had 6 speakers including a 25-year survivor of domestic abuse. Her presentation was very powerful and kept the attendees on the edge of their seats. About 200 people attended. 

WV still appears to have quite a problem with domestic violence. Since 1989 the reports of domestic violence have increased 305%. (WV state police figures.) Also, there were 71 murders in WV in 1999; 31 (nearly 44%) were domestic murders.

The Junior League of Fairmont is the sponsoring agency in WV. They took possession of the exhibit (cleaned and painted the silhouettes) last year and have been coordinating the displays during domestic violence awareness month. The exhibit will be displayed at various places around the state all month. We are also getting feedback from students via a temporary e-mail address we set up just for this event - witness@as.wvu.edu. You can also see information about the exhibit on the WVU Sociology & Anthropology web site. We are going to post pictures too. I don't believe the pictures are posted yet. 

Pam and I have enjoyed working on this project together. She is the president of the Junior League of Fairmont and I am a sociology professor at WVU. We would love to stay in contact with you and the national organization and hope to be involved in this important mission for some time. Thanks for your efforts in moving the national initiative along. We appreciate it. 

*And we appreciate all you have done to revitalize the WVA exhibit. This is fabulous news. And the creative ways in which you are using the internet with students is a great idea. Let us know what the responses are.


Nancy Dawson from Wyoming writes of the event there this year:

Sweetwater Support and Safehouse did a superb job as sponsors of our 5th annual event. Though it was sparsely attended, the speakers were very good: Federal Prosecutor, local prosecutor, and most important of all, family members---there were four families willing to share their pain--- and a moving talk by a former victim.

Every time I attend a SW event, I can't help but be grateful for you and your group's inspiration ten years ago. One of the most important results is the response from victim's families. If we just did it for them, it would be worth it. Thanks again for all your work! 

*And thanks for this update. It is so powerful to hear from family members and survivors. It inspires us all.


Last Chance to Sign Up for Steering Committee and Training in Montana:

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: Janet Hagberg hagbe003@tc.umn.edu 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. Prices held until October 1. 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 Academy. Directions will be sent or emailed to you. Contact: Jerri Miller jerrim@state.mt.us

Rhode Island Perpetrator Treatment Training postponed until November:
Rhode Island 2-Day Training Program for Perpetrators: Newport, RI, November 8-9
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, nrafi@afford.com

General Mills Grant:
We are excited to announce that General Mills just gave us an operating grant. We are so pleased with this collaboration that has kept going since before the march in Washington D.C. This means that we can use other funds we had in reserve to make the trips out to the states to greet you and talk about Results Projects. We no longer have to ask each state to pay a fee for our visits. We would ask that you contribute something for the trip but that can be arranged on a state by state basis. Thanks and we look forward to seeing all of you sooner or later.

These 33 states/countries have announced plans for SW activities in October: Alaska, Arizona, Cayman Islands, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. 

States left to hear from: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, 
Anyone in these states who knows what events are happening this month, please write us immediately. Thanks.

The states that we know are dormant now and need new coordinators are as follows. Please help us revitalize these Silent Witness exhibits: Vermont, Utah, Colorado, and North Dakota.

Rose Mary Boerboom's new email address

Our perpetrator treatment expert and mentor has a new email address and you may want to keep track of it so she does training around the country you have this contact for her as a mentor. Her new email is rose_mary_boerboom@hotmail.com

VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) PASSES:
I was informed last newsletter that VAWA had passed and it turns out it had just passed the House of Representatives. Now it has also passed the Senate. This is great news. We should all be rejoicing.


I leave you today with a quote I got from our own Texas activist, Nicky Niles Arguello: 

"In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all it's shame, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. 



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