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Dec. 13, 2002

Dear Friends,
Greetings. It is the time of Hanukkah and Christmas, Ramadan just ended and Kwanzaa begins in a few weeks. A time of celebration, peace and light. May we all let in a little more light--into our own lives, into our communities and into our world. Take a bit of time this month to reflect on all that you have done this year to bring a bit more light into the world of domestic violence through your wonderful work and through your association with Silent Witness. Thank you and have peace-full holidays.

Read these SW stories to keep remembering why we do what we do:

Gayle A. Cooke killed January 25, 2000
Gayle was employed by the State's Attorney's Office, as a much respected Victim/Witness Coordinator, assisting victims of crimes and violence every day. She was shot while standing in the warm foyer of her home, in the midst of a winter storm, by her daughter's boyfriend and the father of her infant grandson. She leaves behind six children, grandchildren, two sisters, and many colleagues and friends.

Crystal Marie Maquire Killed April 23, 2000
Crystal had just begun her married life when her husband of 23 days loaded his shotgun with birdshot and shot her in the neck at close range, severing an artery. Crystal left behind an infant son who will never have the chance to know his mother. Crystal's mother, who is raising the infant, donated this silhouette saying, "I love, miss and think of my daughter every day."

Zib Hinz (social worker, Minneapolis public schools) Renee Hannas (Vancouver, BC, new email address, moved from the Cayman Islands) Christie Smith (Survivor, social work student, Harrisburg, PA), Judy Moody (Coos County, OR, new email address), Phyllis (West Lane Anti-Violence Coalition), Dianne Post (Arizona Coalition), Nell Hillsley (Activist, friend of SW, Minneapolis)


Gyorgyi Toth faxed us the newspaper coverage of the first domestic violence march ever to be held in Hungary (Budapest)--which included their Silent Witnesses. It was sponsored by NANE, the Women's Rights Organization. The march ended at the spectacular Parliament building with supporters asking for "proven measures which would significantly improve the life of abused women and children in Hungary." They are also calling for "proper punishment" and "professional treatment" for the abusers. Around 30,000 signatures have been collected in favor of new laws in this regard. So far, several ministries have received a delegation of three organizations who are collecting the signatures. One of the events that highlighted the need for more action was a the recent murder of a 14-year-old girl by her abusive stepfather, in the village of Totujfalu. Austria has made significant progress on legislation and Hungary hopes to follow their lead. More power to our committed activists in Hungary.

Fern Brown and Rosemary Raiman had a very successful Silent Witness program in Charles County and sent us the Washington Post photos and story. They told the stories of each of their nine Silent Witness, lit candles for each one and then gave a remembrance flower and memorial packet to a family member of the slain woman. A courageous mother told the story of her murdered daughter which was sad but riveting. The program also included the Sheriff's Office Honor Guard, recognition of local officials, and recognition of donors, special contributors, and commissioners. Rosemary's husband got a special award for making the Silent Witness figures. Thanks Rosemary (and spouse!) and Fern for all this wonderful work. You have the whole community involved. And to think it started because one of their co-workers was murdered by her husband.

Nancy Kwant passed along this head's up.
I just thought I'd pass this on. Peace at Home's handbook: Domestic Violence: The Facts was mentioned in Carolyn Hax's syndicated column in the Washington Post for a second time.

*Great work Nancy. I hope thousands of young women read this article and have safer lives as a result.

Nebraska: We need your help.
This note from Trudy Spicer, Blue VAlley Crisis Center, Fairbury:

We did our Silent Witness project in Beatrice, Nebraska during the week of October 7-11. I am sending you a copy of our agenda for the week. We put this in the paper, we had two other articles in the paper about the Silent Witness project, I went to all of the churches in our town and put the agenda in the Sunday programs they pass out along with baskets of purple ribbons to wear during the month, and we did not have ANYONE show up on Monday or Friday except family and two co-workers.

I am not sure what more we could have done. We put the silhouettes up outside at the Court House and many people went by and read the shields, but again we had no one at our ceremony. One thought we had for next year is to put the a couple silhouettes up at our local mall, the Wal-Mart store, and the public Library the week before our presentation and see if that will help. Do you or any of your readers have any suggestions at all for us? We were very disappointed, and I think we were angry because of all of the work we had put into this project. Some words of support will help us a lot!!

I was very sorry to hear about the Wellstones also. I am sorry you lost your friends, I know how empty that leaves you feeling. I think the shawl idea is wonderful and I am going to try to get a couple of my friends who knit to each make a couple of shawls. I hope your holiday was pleasant. Now we must gear-up for Christmas!

Monday October 7, 2002 6:30 Opening Ceremony: Shelley Mayhew: Victim and Family Advocate Presentation of Victims: Placing the silhouettes on the Court House lawn. Mayor Julie Everson, Wymore: Keynote Speaker Carmen Grummert: Program Director of Blue Valley Crisis Intervention Testimonials: Survivors of Domestic Violence Jan Deeds: Director of Women’s Programs University of Nebraska Lincoln Closing: Pastor Doug Gunkelman Take Back The Night: sang by Jan Deeds

Friday October 11, 2002 6:30 Speakers: Shelley Mayhew : Gage County Advocate for Blue Valley Crisis Intervention Police Chief: Bruce Lang
Jill Duis: Clinical Manager Emergency Services Beatrice Community Hospital Betty Replogle: Principal of Paddock Lane and Stoddard Elementary Schools Beatrice Public Schools. Testimonials: Survivors of Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil and closing by Shelley Mayhew.

Please contact Trudy at

*Trudy, I hope you hear from lots of people who can tell you that it is worth it to try different ways to reach people and not to give up. I want to reiterate that you are doing a great job and it is not always the number of people who show up but WHO shows up. One person can change things in Nebraska.


This exciting note came from Jocelynn Hosea-Davis, a student at Madison's Edgewood College.

I'm a part of an on-campus group by the name of the Peer Educators. We made 6 silhouettes and placed them at high traffic areas around our campus, such as the two cafeterias, and the Library. (In the month of November, specifically November 18-24, 2002). The stories used were of women from the Wisconsin area who were murdered because of domestic violence. We took pictures of the exhibit and we were wondering if you would like to put them on your web site. (Note: see college portion of web site for photos)

The attachment is picture from our exhibit. The people who worked most closely with this project was myself (Jocelynn Hosea-Davis), Jennifer Vosters, Hailey Neises , and Rebecca Altman. The other Peer Educators within our on campus group helped with the publicity of the exhibit. Our program director Pete Meagher also helped with supplies and resources. Thanks for starting such a program and website, it's a great thing to spread awareness about a topic such as this. Thanks again, The Edgewood College Peer Educators

*Thanks, Jocelyn and friends. This is wonderful work. We're so proud of our college partners and all the work they do to support healthy relationships.


1% Campaign:
On October 15, representatives from women¹s rights and anti-violence organizations met in Washington, D.C. in a continuing series of planning meetings to devise a national campaign to bring heightened attention to the domestic and sexual violence that plagues girls, women, families and communities across the U.S. and around the world ­ and to mount a national and worldwide effort to ask our political leaders to allocate time, energy and serious resources to the prevention and elimination of this violence.

A consensus was reached that the focus of the campaign should be at the local, grassroots level for at least the next year. It was also agreed that the 1% Campaign should ask that 1% of the military budget and eventually 1% of the entire federal budget be allocated to preventing the terrorist war that children and women face every day ­ domestic and sexual assault, abuse and violence. In addition, the planning committee was charged with devising a way to promote the Campaign to the broadest audience as possible at the local level and disseminating tools such as petitions and pledges that promote public and political accountability of our social, business, entertainment and political leaders. And finally, national advocacy groups working on violence asked for time to make sure that VAWA funds and programs are shored up, fully funded and renewed. All agreed that the momentum had to come from individuals and community activists, so the 1% Campaign¹s efforts should be at the local level for 2003. A committee formed to come up with proposals for ³how we think the $ should be spent WHEN the 1% is authorized and appropriated²

If you are interested in how this group believes the money should be spent I (Janet) have a longer email that you can read.

Wiseman Films on Domesetic Violence to air on PBS:


For the past 35 years, Frederick Wiseman has meticulously documented a unique and penetrating view of American social relations and the institutions that try to mediate them. Now, in a pair of films as challenging and courageous as any he has made, Wiseman presents the harrowing circumstances of domestic violence. From the police responding to brutal abuse calls, to women and children being counseled at a shelter (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE), and to couples and individuals trying to seek resolution and justice in the courts (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2), Wiseman approaches domestic violence in his trademark style, eschewing narration and letting the camera and the editing reveal the true dimensions of his daunting subject. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2 will have their American television premieres in a special two-evening presentation, Tuesday, March 18 and Wednesday March 19, 2003 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). The films will be presented nationwide on PBS by Thirteen/WNET New York, which has been the national presenter of Frederick Wiseman¹s films throughout his career. Wiseman, a three-time Emmy Award winning director, has over 30 documentary films to his credit, from the controversial Titicut Follies (1967) to High School (1968) to Public Housing (1997).

Compass: A Manual on Human Rights Education with Young People Silent Witness (Budapest) is highlighted as one of the domestic violence interventions!!

The Council of Europe Publishing has recently completed an excellent manual with PRACTICAL activities for working on social change on many fronts: domestic violence, peace, environment, intercultural issues, citizenship, human rights, racism etc. It is well written, practical, easy to use--a great resource. It includes games, role plays, case studies, theatre, artistic ideas etc. In the coming newsletters I will be citing information from the manual for us to ingest. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact European Youth Centre Budapest, No price is listed so you'd have to inquire about that.

UN General Assembly (1993) definition of violence against women: "Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in , physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life." This would include, but is not limited to, "physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women: non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation: physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions, and elsewhere: trafficking in women and forced prostitution; and physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the state, wherever it occurs."

More women in Europe die or are seriously injured through domestic violence than through cancer or road accidents. (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe). Every year 14,500 Russian women are killed as a result of domestic violence. (Unicef Report on Women in Countries in Transition). A study conducted by the European Women's Lobby in 1999 ( reached the conclusion that 1 in 4 women in the EU experience some form of violence by their intimate partner. 95% of all acts of violence take place within the home. A Finnish study (1998) showed that 52% of adult women had been victims of violence or physical or sexual threats from the age of 15, and 20% had been within the past year. A Portuguese study (1997) revealed that 53.3% of women living in the suburbs of large cities, 55.4% of women living in cities and 37.9% of women living in the countryside had been subjected to violence; 43% of acts of violence were committed within the family. A Belgian study (1998) indicated that 68% of women had been the victims of physical and/or sexual violence.

Oprah features the Ft. Bragg DV murders:
12/5/02 the discussion on Oprah centered on the women who were killed this year at Ft. Bragg and the military response.

Article on Wife Beating as epidemic in the military: Posted on Sun, Dec. 08, 2002 By ALAN ELSNER Reuters
(excerpts) FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A spate of murders involving military spouses at the Fort Bragg army base has focused new attention on domestic violence in the U.S. armed services, which critics say the Pentagon has failed to adequately address. Though the military acknowledges it could do a better job collecting statistics on domestic violence by service personnel, studies have suggested that abuse rates are two to three times higher than in the civilian population.

Defense Department estimates suggest incidents of domestic violence in the military rose from 18.6 per 1,000 marriages in 1990 to 25.6 per 1,000 in 1996. Rates fell slightly from 1997-1999 but there were more moderate to severe incidents.The figures did not include an unknown number of cases not reported or handled informally by commanders, or violence against girlfriends or unmarried live-in partners, who have no legal standing in the eyes of the military.

"The military has simply not come to terms with the problem. They've known about it for a long time, and have repeatedly acknowledged the severity of the problem, but they have not dealt with it," said Terri Spahr Nelson, a former army psychotherapist and author of a book on rape and sexual harassment in the military.

TASK FORCE: In 2000, the Pentagon set up a task force on domestic violence, which reported last year with recommendations. These included: holding offenders accountable - few are disciplined or punished today; amending the Uniform Code of Military Justice to proscribe violations of civilian protection orders not currently punishable; upgrading military police and forensics investigation of abuse, and providing more confidentiality to those who report abuse. In response, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz issued a strong statement declaring a "zero tolerance" policy.

"Commanders at every level have a duty to take appropriate steps to prevent domestic violence, protect victims and hold those who commit it responsible," he said. However, of 1,213 reported domestic violence incidents known to military police in 2000 considered serious enough to merit disciplinary action, the military reported 29 in which the perpetrator was court-martialed or sent to a civilian court for prosecution, said University of North Carolina social anthropologist Catherine Lutz, who has studied the issue.

I leave you today with a Pueblo blessing:

Hold on to what is good
Even if it is a handful of earth
Hold on to what you believe
Even if it is a tree that stands by itself
Hold on to what you must do
Even if it is a long way from here
Hold on to life
Even if it is easier to let go
Hold on to my hand
Even if I have gone away from you

Keep holding on, dear Silent Witness people. Keep those silent voices speaking. Happy Holidays.



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