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October 28  Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We are nearing the end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and you must be exhausted. The sheer volume of email we received on your activities is breathtaking. You are all wonderful and to be loudly applauded. You brought the voices of the Silent Witnesses out to the community. The families of victims were involved. Communities turned out to support us. And healing occurred. Bless you, all of you angels. Just gloat as you read all the activity in this newsletter.


WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:
Christina Walsh (National Training Center on DV and SV, Texas), Melanie Martin (Rhode Island SW Activist), Tasha Amador (Statewide Cal. Coalition for Battered Women), Barbara Soares (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil), Gyorgyi Toth (Silent Witness Coordinator, Budapest, Hungary).



STATES ON BOARD FOR OCTOBER EVENTS:39 States so far.

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington State, Wyoming, Washington DC.

ATTENTION:These are the states that we have not heard from where we think there are active exhibits. PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT ACTIVITIES THE WITNESSES WERE INVOLVED IN, IN THE STATES LISTED BELOW.

Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia.





NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:


ARIZONA:
We got a wonderful phone call from John Peterson, our co-coordinator in Arizona who is in the middle of his chemotherapy. While unable to sponsor a Silent Witness event this year himself, he was eager that some other group take it on. He turned on his TV the other night and there were the Silent Witnesses at the University of Arizona in Tucson, proud and marching. The NOW chapter in Tucson had taken it upon themselves to get the Witnesses out there. John is generally in good spirits but this cheered him up immensely, as you can imagine.
* Go NOW. That is wonderful collaboration. We love it.


CALIFORNIA:
A Forwarded note about legislative activity in Cal, written by Nancy Lemon:
I am pleased to report that so far the Ca. Governor, Gray Davis, has signed 2 of the bills which the Ca. Alliance Against DV initiated and gave top priority status to this year.

One is SB 56 (Solis), which will take effect 1/1/00 and says that victims of dv can take time off work to go to court without being retaliated against by their employers.

The other one is AB 840 (Kuehl), which will also take effect 1/1/00. It creates a rebuttable presumption against custody to batterers, similar to legislation in 14 other jurisdictions. It contains a list of factors the court has to consider in determining if the batterer has rebutted (overcome) the presumption, including attending a certified batterer's treatment counseling program, getting alcohol and/or drug abuse counseling if appropriate, going to parenting classes, complying with restraining orders and with probation or parole conditions if these were ordered, and not being violent to anyone for the recent period of time. For more info, contact me at nlemon@socrates.berkeley.edu or Syrus.Devers@asm.ca.gov , the aide who worked on the bill with me for 5 years.
*We're very pleased to hear about the success of this legislation. Thanks.


CONNECTICUT:
Jan Fuhr, of the collaboration in CT writes:
The Oct 8th DV educational conference went well. We had approximately 75 people attend. Most of them were caregivers but some were lay people who just wanted to learn more and get involved. Of course, the Witnesses were there and since it was held in the student union of the Western CT University, many students also viewed them. All in all, it was a great success and I think it made a positive inpact on how future victims receive care.
*Great work Connecticut. We love to hear from you.


FLORIDA:
Betty Weinkle writes this from the Miami NCJW:
Tomorrow is the "Woman of Valor" luncheon in Miami, honoring women in the community who work for the rights of children. This is our second annual, and honors Cindy Lederman, a Chief Administrative Judge of the Dependency Court, and Berta Bleck, a longtime advocate for children's rights, and a founder of a center for child victims of abuse.The witnesses will be prominently displayed.

We had new witnesses built of the PVC material and they are wonderful! We chose to have 2 children represented, and the boy and girl sized silent witnesses are so largely powerful. We donated our original wooden witnesses to Stephanie Lighter and the NCJW Boca Raton section.

Next week our witnesses travel to Orlando to be present at the Women in Opthamology conference with 50,000 people expected.
*Miami is on the move. Thanks for donating those wooden witnesses. It multiplies the opportunities for people to be touched and healed.

AND we heard from Randee H. Lefkow, International President, Jewish Women International (Also in FL):
Just a note to let you know:Jewish Women International is working with Jewish Family Service to bring the issues of Domestic Abuse to the forefront of the Jewish community in Broward County, Florida (and around the country again this year as part of JWI's Light A Fire-Share a Vision program.)

A new coalition - Kolot of Broward (kolot means Voices) is holding its first event..Tueday, Oct. 19th 5:30 PM at the Posnack Jewish Community Center. Women in Distress is providing their Silent Witnesses (6). I'll use your latest update to inform those who attend about the Silent Witness program and its importance.

The event will include community statements, healing music, a candlelighting and a silent prayer for Rabbi Julie Spitzer, a brave woman who nationally led the Jewish community to address DV issues. She died 2 weeks ago at age 41 of ovarian cancer. We'll also have a resource table of materials, and refreshments.

There are also events in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach county on the same day with Jewish coalitions in each location. Thanks for all you do on behalf of the movement to end domestic violence.
*Way to go, Randee and COmpany. There is so much activity going on it is staggering. Thanks for your involvement.

AND we heard from Geri Hayes in Sarasota:
Additional SW activities: The witnesses were present at the 10/08 meeting of our local Zonta International chapter, and then at AAUW. They are back for a second week at a county administration building (10/18-10/22) and then will be at the annual educational symposium sponsored by our local shelter, SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center) and held at Sarasota Memorial Hospital on 10/23. They are tentatively scheduled to spend two weeks at the another county building located in the southern region of our county.

Three of the Coalition organizations (AAUW, Zonta Int'l. and NCJW) have all approved donations of $100 each to assist us in procuring additional figures. Other Coalition member organizations include League of Women Voters, Grey Panthers and N.O.W.

And on a personal note, the circuit judge that I work with, Nancy Donnallan, submitted my name for consideration for an annual award given by the Sarasota County Bar Association. On 09/16, Nancy and my husband colluded to get me to the annual dinner, where I was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award By A Lay Person. Although a rather uncomfortable moment, I was grateful for the exposure it provided our Task Force and the Coalition.
*Great work Geri and Friends, and congratulations on the wonderful award. It is so nice to see so many of you being recognized by your communities. Go for it.


HUNGARY:
Remember in last summer's newsletter Jan Fuhr, our CT contact went to Hungary and stumbled upon the Silent Witnesses while she was there. Well, we have tracked down the organization and here's a note about their organization. We're hoping to be in contact with them regularly now. How exciting!!! The name of the organizer is Gyorgyi Toth and her organization is called NANE.

My organisation is NANE in Budapest Hungary. It is a women's rights organisation with a special emphasis on violence against women and girls. Our main project this year will build on last years: we have our own Silent Witness project with 16 red silhouettes of women and children who were murdered by partner or father, carrying the stories of their lives and deaths on their chests. We will take the exhibition to various public and publicly-accessible private places.

During the exhibitions, one or more volunteers will be available for questions and to give out leaflets on violence against women. On the first day of the 16 days, the exhibition will start with a press conference. There we will give general info as well as announce our upcoming press campaign against domestic violence.
*This international connection is so exciting. Let's see how many other countries we can partner with on this healing venture. Thanks for all your hard work, Hungary. We admire you.


IDAHO:
Celia Heady, our Silent Witness coordiantor in Idaho writes:
Idaho has 4 sets of Silent Witness figures in the state. The fourth, and new set was built in Blackfoot, ID by the Bingham Crisis Center. Blackfoot built Silent Witness figures for the women victims in 1997 as well as the 1998 ones. Programs throughout the state have been active with Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities. The Idaho Council on Domestic Violence will be sponsoring several domestic violence bills in our legislature which convenes in January. Standards for batterer treatment programs have been updated and standards for domestic violence programs and personnel have been developed.
*Thanks for this great work, Celia and friends. We are excited to have four exhibits in your state and lots of activity.


INDIANA:
Jimita Potter is our Silent Witness contact in Indiana South Bend. She says:
The Silent Witness Group has been traveling through the state for the past couple of months. It was down in Indianapolis for two events. The first event was the Indiana Medical Association State Convention. The main speaker was Nicole Brown's sister. According to Debbie Licini who accompanied the exhibit to Indy the event was very moving and "Our Ladies" received a great deal of attention. The second event followed a couple weeks later. The exhibit was at a meeting of the statewide Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Some of "Our Ladies" will be part of a domestic violence program in St. Joseph County next week. The "Ladies" will be traveling to lower Michigan for an event in the Niles, Michigan area in November.We are proud of our exhibit and we are glad that it is still traveling after 5 years.
*And Jimita, we are all proud of you for keeping the candles of hope burning in Indiana with the Silent Witnesses. They certainly are "our ladies."


MAINE:
A report from Susan Fuller, our whirlwind in Maine: (Very powerful story about the nurses at Mercy hospital)
The Maine Silent Witness Project has been ongoing since 1995. We updated the exhibit last year to add Witnesses since 1995. We had a very successful statewide tour, as wide as you can get in Maine. This year we are focussing on one area of the state and answering all other requests for the exhibit. Because the exhibit has grown from 6 silhouettes in 1995 to 18 in 1998 to even more in 1999 we will be able to split the exhibit up and have it appear in many locations at once.

We had a very generous donation of 6 currogated plastic posters that essentially have the SW logo and say that the project is a memorial to the women killed in acts of domestic violence in Maine. This way at a glance an onlooker will be able to get the gist of the project and have several means that each location will have the same sign.

1) Mercy Hospital in Portland: Hers's a powerful story from a DV advocate at the hospital. During a recent educational meeting on DV for nurses at the hospital, I was asked to bring one of the Witnesses for the meeting. After the meeting, 2 of the nurses present were crying in the corner. They shared that one of the Witnesses in the Maine exhibit had been a nurse at that very hospital--that one of the Witnesses was "one of them". I did not know this when I brought the figure to the meeting. This has lead to increased commitment at the hospital, including that of the CEO, to SW and how they manage DV at the hospital.

2) The Maine Mall in Portland: The Sheriff's Dept. Honor Guard will stand watch over the Witnesses at this highly visible public venue.The Maine Mall, for the second year in a row is having the exhibit on October 20th in conjuction with the YWCA's Week Without Violence". The Mall has had their own campaign with signs up in all the stalls in the bathrooms, bumpersticker type signs on every glass door entering the mall right at hand level. Very visible, very brave and very community minded. Remember the Silent Witnesses do not necessarilly create an atmosphere which encourages shopping. I am proud of what the Mall is doing. I believe the same company owns the mall in Rochester, New Hampshire and they have done a similar campaign.

There is much traffic for this outlet and the Mall owners have been very supportive and committed to DV awareness as a company. One question I would like some advice on: When the Witnesses are used in a public forum like this, without a workshop/meeting setting, how do we try to instil a message of hope rather than despair to those that see the exhibit? It is challenging to do this in a "walk by" environment...

3) Other venues: Ongoing part of law enforcement training, Univ. of New England Medical College training, USM Law School, part of the Tri-County walk in Lewiston. The exhibit will be in local hospitals and one county has requested all the witnesses from their area for the entire month of October and has planned various appearances.

*And I got this news from a reliable source: Susan is receiving an award this month for her work and commitment to the project from the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence! Congratulations Susan and everyone in Maine who works on this project. You have done a fabulous job.


MARYLAND:
A message passed along to us, sponsored by Sharon Stout of Community Well Research and Evaluation, Inc. in Silver Spring:
The state of Maryland, USA is now requiring 60,000 state employees to attend seminars on the impact of domestic violence on workplace productivity. The governor, Parris Glendening, signed an executive order requiring the training. It may be the first of its kind among state governments. (If anyone knows of other states doing this, please let me know.)

The order is a response to data on the impact of domestic violence on the workplace (including Bureau of National Affairs estimates that employers lose about $5 billion each year because of absenteeism, increased health care costs, and reduced productivity--and a private survey from 1992 that found between 25-35% of battered women reported that they had lost a job in large part because they were victims of domestic violence). For more info contact Sharon at commwell@igc.org
*Thanks for this update. When we haer about this great effort, we all feel more committed and energetic.

AND this note from Pat Lupson, a mother of one of the Silent Witnesses and strong SW supporter in MD:
Spoke last week before the Capitol building for the National Task Force Against Domestic Violence. They had the clothes line project on display - they marched it around the Capitol - very powerful. I told my kid's story, a surviving victim of DV spoke, and some congressional women spoke (Connie Morella) along with Sheila Wellstone.
*Keep on speaking out Pat. More power to you.


MICHIGAN:
Nancy Mooney, our SW Coordinator at the JR. League in Ann Arbor writes:
Things in Michigan have been very busy! We had Monday, 10/18 declared in the City of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and the State of Michigan Silent Witness Day in memory of the women whose lives were ended violently at the hands of a boyfriend, husband or acquaintance. We received all our proclamations early in the Month.

At our Junior League Meeting we had a short vigil to honor the 31 women who were killed last year. We we lit candles as I read some of the stories of our sisters who fell last year. Because we felt our witnesses would be a better educational tool outside of our league meeting, we represented all of our Michigan women on paper. At each place setting we had on a piece of red paper of the stories of our sisters in the league. We wanted their stories to be closer to our members. We also passed out our buttons from the SW Initiative. We had buttons on 170 members last Tuesday. We also have received a great deal of feed back from our membership that they want to know more. Many have worn their buttons to the grocery and church and had people ask questions. Our goal was to get our league emotionally committed once again, and we succeeded.

Our SW's have traveled all over the state. We have publicized the exhibits and locations in our newspaper ads. All exhibits so far have been well attended. I had six extra witnesses last week sitting in my garage, so I quickly drove them to the shelter in my town and they were able to use them at their vigil last Tuesday. We have our video running on public access tv all through the month, I think it runs 20 times during the month of October.

We now have a total of 33 SW!! Six are permanently housed in the Grand Rapids, MI., YWCA Women's Center. They will be helping us exhibit on the west side of the state. In the next week and a half, we will be sending out a letter with a picture of the SW Exhibit to all businesses in our county. We are hoping to get more corporate support and become more visible in the corporate environment. Last year two women were killed in the parking lots of their employer. We are anxious to move forward!

As you can tell, we've been busy. We have alot of enthusiasm and excitement in our goal to end domestic violence.
*Yes, you certainly do have enthusiasm. And the place settings of names of Witnesses is powerful too. Thanks for all this work. And it is great to know that there are two locations for SW in Michigan now.


MISSISSIPPI:
Pat Davenport, our SW mentor for the program "Preparing our Sons for Manhood" in Greenville, MS writes:
We had over 26 presentations (to schools, churches and social services agencies) to conduct in Greenville, MS for the month of October. We are co-sponsoring a silent march on October 26, 1999. Our Mayor signed a proclamation for the month. Also, our police department has declared October 26, 1999 - a day of arrest. The entire department will concentrate on arresting all delinquent cases of domestic violence. We also will be having a ceremony on the steps of city hall on October 26,1999.

On September 24, 1999, to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness month, we had over 1,400 juniors and seniors high school students from 16 different schools in the MS Delta to meet and have a youth rally - entitled, "Daring to be Different - Soaring with the Eagles." The rally was a success on teaching them to become responsible for their actions and to end the violence in the home.

P.S. The State Wide Coalition is setting off purple balloons for the month of October. We are also releasing balloons with our crisis telephone numbers inside of them. The Salvation Army Catherine Booth Center is sponsoring this event. Three agencies within the state are hosting marches this week.
*Wow, Mississippi is really hopping. More power to you all. Keep us posted.


NORTH CAROLINA:
Donna Pygott, our hearty soul and mother of the Silent Witnesses in NC writes:
I also wanted to tell you about the NC March. We titled it the "Silent Witness March... Gone But Not Forgotten." We began the March with 38 silhouettes at the Wake County Courthouse in Raleigh and marched them to the State Capitol three blocks away. The Raleigh Police Departments Domestic Violence Unit stopped traffic for us to cross three streets. Once we reached the Capitol we marched around it and came to a rest on the West side for a special program. We heard from survivors on how domestic violence affected them and their families, as well as, how to move forward and survive.

It was a powerful program. Unfortunately, due to the hurricane season we've had, the attendance was a lot lower than we expected but still have at least 100 people. Hurricane Irene hit the day before the March. I prayed that we would have good weather on the 18th and when I woke up it was a beautiful sunny day. Thank God! We had press coverage from every TV Station and the Associated Press.

In addition to the March, the Silent Witnesses have travelled state wide every week. We split the set up into groups of nine so that three different counties can use them in one week. They have visited 11 counties (26 different locations, 50 appearances) so far and keep going on into December. The word is out there!! The Greensboro Junior League had their own set of 20 silhouettes made and are trying to get those active as well. We have four sets of silhouettes statewide now. NC is making strides to keep moving forward in our task to end domestic violence homicides.

Some of the women that really worked hard on the Silent Witness March need recognition. Allison Isaak from the Domestic Violence Shelter and Services in Wilmington is a real go getter and full of energy. She is really special! Marie French from Interact in Raleigh was a big help with media and advertising. Fannie Montague with the Raleigh Police Department was a great big help getting city permits and the streets blocked for us to march across.

Other folks that made a difference and worked hard were, Amy Hasick, Harbor, Smithfield; Patty Dorian, ED, NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Susan Borgesi, Orange/Durham Coalition for Battered Women; NC Council for Women; Ernstein Moore, Triangle Family Services, Raleigh; Chief Johnny Massey,State Capitol Police, Raleigh; Marianne Wellon, Wake County District Attorney's Office; and Lori Sullivan, NC Victim Assistance Network.
*Now this is dedication, having a SW event the day after a hurricane hit. It's amazing to me what you all are capable of doing. And I think you get the award for the second year for a state with the most exhibit appearances in October. There is nothing that can stop you!!!


PENNSYLVANIA:
One of our regional directors spoke with Laurie Duchateau of the Jr. League of Pittsburgh and Susan Tanzer of the NCJW and got this update in more detail about the Silent Witnesses in Western PA: (Susan is passing along her role now to Mahnaz Harrison).

She said that September was a busy time for the Witnesses: They were at the Women's Center Shelter, Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield (more on them later), Carlo College, and the National Jr. League Conference in Pittsburgh.

As we heard earlier, the figures appeared at a press conference this month where State Rep. Jane Orie discussed her commitment to making changes in DV and Medical Advocacy as part of National Screening Day. Orie works to make the important hard-line argument about the cost of DV and the responsibility and involvement of the medical community. The Witnesses will also appear at the YWCA in McKeysport.

In November, the Witnesses will get a much needed rest where they will be touched up with paint, breast plates re-affixed, and broken stands mended.They have 19 figures currently (from 1994-96) and are researching cases to add figures for 1997-99.

One great story that Laurie did share was that they have gotten support from a local high school shop class teacher, who happens to be a nun, who would like to assign the construction of the Witnesses to her class. They plan on having the new figures ready in Feb/March of 2000. (Great way to get younger folks involved in SW!)

One of the most exciting things that Laurie shared was that they were the recipients of a $5,000 grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in order to maintain and create new figures. Highmark has become very concerned about the issue and and have implemented a public awareness campaign around the issue. They did a week-long kick-off for this campaign where the Witnesses were present. They are concerned about the cost of DV to insurers.

I spoke with Susan Tanzer of the NCJW in Pittsburgh as well. Susan did tell me that they have plans to make 24-25 more witnesses. The strength and impact of their efforts lies in the figures. They are currently devising a stronger strategy of more community outreach. One visitor was so moved that he offered to make a video about the figures.
*So exciting to hear about this dedication to the Silent Witnesses and the fine collaboration between the JR League and NCJW in Pittsburgh.

AND from Carlisle, PA, Deborah Donahue reports a wonderful visual image:
Carlisle, PA (Deborah Donahue and Cecile) reports that they are wrapping the old Carlisle Court House in a purple ribbon and doing a ribbon "Cutting" sumbolizing breaking the cycle of violence in their community and the commitment of city officials to help in doing so. They will have a public proclamation of Oct. as DV awareness month. The Witnesses were at the event on the court house stairs as the back-drop. It was a great community effort.
*Wow, PA is on the move. We love to hear these creative new ideas. Keep them coming.


RHODE ISLAND:
Yet another wonderful update from Nancy Rafi of our RI Collaboration:
Well, RI had their big event on Saturday, Oct 16th in Providence. We had a total of 10 Witnesses who entered the Cathedral of St. John, led by bagpipers to the front stage. We had an opening spiritual reading, followed by the Silent Witness stories, the Executive Director of the Women's Center in Providence, a survivor of domestic violence who belongs to Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR), then a guitartist and soloist singing while people lit candles in memory of those no longer here, followed by a woman from the RI Victim's Assistance & Support Center, who talked about domestic violence murders and their aftermaths.

After all the speakers, everyone walked outside into the crisp bright Autumn air, and we were led by a mounted Providence Police officer, who was followed by a hearse, then our bagpipers, 2 people carrying our "March to End the Silence" banner, our Witnesses, and everyone else falling in behind. We marched from the Cathedral to the steps of our statehouse, and literally heard people asking - "Wow - who died?". At the Capitol, we read the names of each Silent Witness for the past 10 years, and said a closing prayer, then invited everyone back to the Cathedral for light refreshments. All 3 of RI's TV stations were there, and we got coverage on every channel.

I have to tell you the most personally impactful event for me that day. One of our new Witness's families came to the march - her mother, father, 2 aunts, 2 sisters, 2 nieces, and 2 of her 3 surviving children. When we asked everyone to come forward to escort the Witnesses outside, Kelli's father jumped up from his seat, just to make sure that he would be able to carry her Witness. Her entire family followed behind him, and it made me feel as if he was able to wrap his arms around his daughter one more time. When everyone was saying their goodbyes at the Cathedral, each and every member of Kelli's family came up to me and hugged and kissed me. Her mom gave me a big hug and kiss, and whispered in my ear "Thank you so much for this day. We love you for what you're doing." What an unforgettable day for me! That memory will stay with me forever.

We are continuing on with our efforts and are being seen at several more places in October. Also in November, we will be doing a "community ceremony" to present another new Witness in Warwick of a 17 year-old who was murdered in 1995. Her mother has asked to sponsor her Witness and we are starting to work with the community to put this together.
*These are such powerful stories. The healing is amazing, in all who are associated with Silent Witness.



NEWS FROM NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS:

SILENT WITNESS INTERNATIONAL!!!!:

Recently we have connected with several women around the world who are interested in Silent Witness or already coordinating exhibits. These women are Akiko Kobayashi (Japan), Gyorgyi Toth (Hungary-has an active exhibit), Barbara Soares (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Agata Zakrzewska (Poland), Didi Walson-Jack (Nigeria). This is so exciting, to see this healing work moving beyond national boundaries. We have much to learn from each other. Let's keep this moving.


16 DAYS AGAINST VIOLENCE: IF ANY OF OUR SW ACTIVISTS WOULD LIKE TO BE PART OF THIS EVENT, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW DIRECTLY AND ALSO EMAIL SW HEADQUARTERS.


This description is from Francesca Pesce cossta@flashnet.it

Moderators' Note: We encourage members that are organizing activities around the worldwide 16 Days Against Gender Violence campaign to submit them to the Working Group. We intend to compile an overview of global activities and will distribute this via the list and other fora.

In Rome our Association (Differenza Donna) is organising a press conference for November 25th presenting the International Day against VAW and a conference which we are holding 4 days later. This is also because no-one in Italy seems to be aware of this day.

We would also like to present a resume' of activities held on the same day throughout the world (to give more the sense of an "international" day and fight). Last year this working group proved a great opportunity to exchange concrete examples of what was going on. Would it be possible to know what other women organisations, NGOs, associations, etc. are organising for November 25th?

A NOTE FOR SILENT WITNESS COORDINATORS: This is a brief explanation of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence:

Currently, organizations throughout the world are preparing for the "16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence", a global campaign between November 25 (the commemoration of the murder of the Mirabal sisters by the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day). This campaign links violence against women with human rights.


A GRAND THANK YOU TO BARB AND NANCY!! AND RETIRING SILENT WITNESS COORDINATORS

Barb Zipperman and Nancy Housenga, our faithful secretarial service and mailers are retiring and will have to say good bye to Silent Witness. We are so grateful for the fine work they have done. Without them this organization would be in chaos. So Thank You both for the great work. We love you and wish you the best.

We also would like to thank Aggie Nagy who is turning over the SW exhibit of Cleveland to Julie Steck and thanks too, to Betty Weinkle from Florida who is turning over her SW work to Linda Slade, and to Susan Tanzer of Pittsburgh who is turning over her role to Mahnaz Harrison. You are all wonderful and very dedicated. We hope to find other things for you to do!!


I leave you today with a poem that was read at the rally and march in North Carolina. (Courtesy of Donna Pygott)

Silence might be the privilege of the strong, but it was certainly a danger to the weak.

For the things I was prompted to keep silent about were nearly always the things I was ashamed of, which would have been far better aired.

Joanna Field


Cheers,

Janet

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