June 18 Newsletter
I'm back home from the Steering Committee meeting in St. Louis and I'm eager to give you an update on the fabulous meeting of Silent Witness angels from the EIGHT states and six different organizations that were represented. The energy in the room was contagious. It makes so much of a difference to connect a name with a smiling face. Thanks to all of you who made such a great effort to be there. (See National Section of newsletter for details). We all wonder sometimes if we are making a difference. It helps to know that Gandhi thought about those things too. Here's a quote to start your day, from the master of social change and gentle revolutions himself. "You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no results."-Gandhi
WEB SITE IS HOT: www.silentwitness.net Every newsletter is now on the web along with the state coordinator's list and the treatise on Personal Power and Silent Witness.
WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:
Deb Aden (Dir, Rape Services/Men's Treatment, Sioux Falls, SD), Dotty Heydinger (friend of SW, 80+ years old, MN), Beth Murray (Jr. League, SW Coordinator, Cincinnati), Laurie Rummel (NCJW, Nashville, new email address),Sheriann Hamilton (Women's Center, Louisville, KY), Holly Mae Curtis (Peace at Home, Boston), Diane Graeter (NCJW, Louisville, Court Watch Co-director), Lisa Macri, Sharon Kolb (Sojourner Shelter, SW Collaborative, Woonsocket, RI), Lois Herman (Women's Human Rights Consultant, MN), Rose Mary Meyer (Women's Center, Chicago), Jane Etheridge (Women's Center, Murray State, KY), Debra Mize (shelter, Belleville, IL), Jan Abbey (Safehome, Kansas City, SW regional director).
MORE FABULOUS RESULTS:
DV HOMICIDE RATES OF WOMEN: EUREKA, THE NEWS IS GOOD
THE NUMBER OF DV HOMICIDES OF WOMEN IN 1997 WAS 1174, DOWN
COURT WATCH SUCCESSFUL IN KENTUCKY:
NEWS FROM THE STATES:
Kristen Giatzis of the Jr. League of Northern Westchester
County has this wonderful report:
*Thanks for all this great work, Kirsten and company. This ongoing program is a way for this message to go on at all those schools. Way to go.
This note from Bonnie S Linscott, from the Naval Air
Station near Seattle:
*This sounds like a powerful program. It is exciting to see the military getting so much more involved.
A story with a wonderful twist from Molly Talbet of the Jr.
League of Cincinnati:
*Great work, Cincinnati. Welcome Beth. And great collaboration. You are wonderful.
Here's a real keeper!! A young woman wrote this to me from
* If any of you ever wonder if the work you are doing is paying off, just reread this little piece and tape it to your computer. You are all making a difference.
Anne Kleinert of the Texas Council on Family Violence sent us a copy of their newly published court monitoring program manual called "Court Monitoring: Model Program for Family Violence Programs and Citizen Groups." They have just distributed the manual to all the family violence programs and batterer intervention programs throughout Texas (109 total) with the hope that they will begin a court watch in their own community. Anyone may use the material and is encouraged to do so. All they ask is that you credit them for the copyrighted material. This is very exciting because it is truly a collaborative effort. Anne consulted with several court watch programs, including those in Minnesota and Kentucky to put this together. We are so pleased with the results. And we will be eager to see how many court watch programs are started in Texas as a result. The manual is available from The Texas Council on Family Violence 512-794-1133 or fax 512-794-1199.
*Thanks for all this wonderful work, Anne. Congratulations on a fine product. This will make a big difference in Texas.
Pauline Flanagan, of the McKenzie/Flanagan team, writes
from Alaska about their Silent Witness activities in the last several months:
*What nice team work, since everywhere they go in Alaska they have to fly!! Thanks to both of you for the wonderful work.
Betty Winkle of Miami writes that they have another set of Witnesses there. In addition to the "experienced" witnesses, they have a new set of PVC plastic ones which she says are a dream to work with.
*Great to hear this Betty. And they are easier on the back too!! Thanks.
And this word from Geri Haynes who heads up the Family
Violence Task Force in Sarasota:
*This is real progress, not just baby steps, Geri. What a great leap forward. Nice work, team Sarasota.
Joanne Coghill writes that as a result of their successful high school program last month they are already getting requests from other high schools in the area. One of her committee members, Valerie Real, works in the Inglewood school district and they just has a shooting this past week. Valerie mentioned the assembly that was done at Manual Arts to the school admininstators and they are interested now. The Jr. League of Los Angeles donated money to Silent Witness in the names of the speakers who they had at their school program. This was wonderful and we sent our beautiful notification cards to all the speakers. Thanks a lot for this, LA.
*Keep up the good work in LA. We eagerly watch your progress and your energy is contagious.
Nancy Rafi, Lisa Macri and Sharon Kolb mesmerized us at the Steering Committee meeting with their description of the Silent Witness programs they developed for college campuses. Their specialty is college campuses!! It was so moving we were near tears just hearing the details of their programs. They get the students so involved that it is hard not to become an activist. Since it is a little too detailed to describe in a paragraph, they agreed to write up their program and make it available to all of you. They plan to do that this summer and we'll pass it along to all of you. Oh, and they also plan to start several Court Watch programs in Rhode Island as well this year. This is an energetic group who came on board two months before the march in Washington and not only made their exhibit (after getting a few donated figures from Maine and Vermont) but brought 23 people to the march as well. YES.
*Go Rhode Island. It was so wonderful to have three people travel so far to come to the Steering Committee meeting. They had to raise the money to get there. How inspiring.
I just received a wonderful package from Rosemary Raiman of White Plains, MD. She sent great pictures of the Silent Witness her husband, Irwin, made for Charles County, MD. Rosemary's niece was a victim of DV and Rosemary and her friend, Fern Brown wanted to present the county board with the gift of an uncounted woman figure to represent women in their county who have been victims of DV.There were several other officials at the ceremony when they presented their Witness to the commissioners. Rosemary is not a newcomer to activism. She works as an advocate at the Center for Abused Persons, is vice chair of the County Dept of Social ServicesBoard of Directors, a member of the Maryland Network Against DV, and the Maryland Coalition. But she made this generous gesture as a concerned citizen. They are hoping that other citizens and family members of victims will learn of the project and choose to add other figures in remembrance of their loved ones who have been lost in acts of domestic violence.
*Thanks so much Rosemary, Irwin and Fern. This was a most generous and memorable tribute. We hope it generates a lot of commitment and a reduction in violence.
We just heard from Pat Lupson, mother of a Silent Witness
in Maryland. She says:
*We wish you all the very best as you take up these new posts. More power to you all.
Our wonderful NCJW Nashville coordinator, Laurie Rummel is moving to Phoenix in August. So all of you energetic Arizonians be sure to contact her to lasso some of her energy. We've had coordinators and SW supporters move before and it lights fires in the new places. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
*Go Laurie. Go Tennessee. Go Arizona!!!
Debra Mize came to the Steering Committee meeting and totally surprised us on three counts. First, she has an exhibit in Belleville that we didn't know about. Second, she told us there is an exhibit at the Scott Air Force Base, the first military establishment to have an exhibit of their own. And third she already has a DV court in her county, which is quite wonderful. So much good news all at once. They housed their Silent Witness exhibit at their court house for a whole month. YES.
*Great work Debra and company. Keep up that wonderful energy.
Sally Katzif, our SW mentor for data collection policies, informed us at the Steering committee that their legislation for mandatory data collection on DV homicides of women passed in the last session and will go into effect soon. Their attorney general, the NCJW and the Coalition worked together on this effort and it was well worth it. For a copy of their legislation email Sally at email@example.com or SW headquarters. Also the St. Louis NCJW just developed a Jewish Domestic Violence Task Force which was two years in the making. They are having an opening event with a well known Rabbi speaking. St. Louis recently added a 24 hour OFP procedure. They have advocates that go to the home of every DV call with the police and they have a judge on call to issue the orders. What a coup.
*This is wonderful news, Sally. There is so much effort that goes into all of this. And Sally's latest accomplishment was to work her wiles on a friend of hers to get tickets for me (a confessed baseball fan) to go see Mark McGwire play baseball while I was at the Steering Committee in St. Louis. I am eternally grateful!!!
A powerful story from Jan Abbey of Kansas:
*It is so sad to read these stories and know how many lives have been touched by domestic violence. And we are grateful to the involvement of 20 of our country's attorneys general with Silent Witness. Their help has been invaluable.
Gloria Champion, our faithful coordinator in NM recently spoke at a VAWA state wide meeting about her efforts in the Navajo Nation with Silent Witness and with the Stosny Treatment model. She was very well received and has generated enough interest to get three new sets of Witnesses started in New Mexico.
*Thanks Gloria for all the hard work in generating more interest in NM. We salute you.
We found out that the Arizona Coalition is writing a protocol for a Court Watch program similar to the effort in Texas, to stimulate court watches in that state.
*Great to hear this. Keep going Arizona.
A St. Paul church used the Silent Witnesses for Mother's Day and the minister included a perspective on domestic violence in his sermon. It was a very powerful event. The woman who arranged for the exhibit was an 80+ year-old energetic senior citizen named Dotty Heydinger who has been following the development of the SW exhibit for quite some time.
*Go Seniors. Thanks for all your help. Senior Citizens made the whole original Arizona exhibit. YES
A suburban church that originated the DART model has now used the Stosny prevention model "Regulating Anger and Resentment" with more than 200 people at the church in small groups. The evaluations consistently come back very positive showing behavior change (similar to the ones I printed in a previous newsletter). Any of you who are interested in great prevention classes in non-threatening environments with programs that are proven to work, get in touch with Donna Bennett at Colonial Church 612-925-2711.
*This DART model and the associated programs are now operating in three large churches in the Twin Cities. We're starting to move the mountain!!!
NEWS FROM NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS:
STEERING COMMITTEE/LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT MEETING ST.
REGIONAL DIRECTORS RECRUITING STATES FOR OCTOBER SW EVENTS:
These wonderful people have agreed to be the core group to recruit states for October Silent Witness events. I've divided the country into several regions so the recruiters can work with people in their surrounding states.
VICKI AMUNDSON/JERRI MILLER: Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Alaska.
JOANNE COGHILL/LUCIA NORDSTROM: California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Hawaii, Louisiana.
MONICA BLAIZGIS/JAN FUHR: Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware.
STEPHANIE LIGHTER: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington DC.
JAN ABBEY: Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee.
STATES WITHOUT EXHIBITS: WE NEED YOUR HELP
While I was calling all the states to update lists for the web site, I ran across two states who have no current exhibit, a few states with no contact number and a few states who didn't return my call. We need your help with a few of these so we can have active exhibits in all 50 states on an ongoing basis. I've already heard from a few of you regarding these states and I thank you. Virginia: no contact. We need another organization to take over there. Do any of you have good contacts with BPW, Jr. League, NCJW, YWCA or other organizations? Hawaii: Nanci, our Coalition contact there, needs an organization to be the sponsor of SW and make an exhibit for Hawaii. Does anyone have good organizational contacts with NCJW, Jr. League, YWCA, BPW or others in Hawaii? Louisiana: I couldn't locate the name or telephone number of the Coalition there. Can anyone help here?
States I haven't heard back from and would love to have an update on are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Vermont, and West Virginia. Please call or email and let me know the current status of Silent Witness in these states.
STATES ON BOARD FOR OCTOBER SILENT WITNESS EVENTS SO FAR: 10 States. (If you're planning something, please let us know) Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington State.
STATES WITH MULTIPLE SILENT WITNESS EXHIBITS: 25 (If there are others please let me know. It is just an oversight!!). Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.
STATES WITH RESULTS PROJECTS SO FAR: Please let me know if there are others. DATA COLLECTION (Supplemental Homicide Reports) 48 States. All except Kansas and Montana.
OTHER RESULTS PROJECTS (Court Watch, Quincy, Stosny Treatment, DART/Mississippi) 36 States, 70 projects. Alaska, Arizona, California (3), Colorado (2), District of Columbia, Florida (5), Hawaii, Idaho (2), Illinois (3), Indiana (5), Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland (4), Massachusetts, Minnesota (8+), Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey (2), New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio (2), Oklahoma (2),South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee (2), Texas, Utah, Virginia (3), Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming (5).
GOVERNMENT WEB SITES ON FAMILY VIOLENCE:
The following addresses house valuable information on statistics, programs and victims of domestic and family violence from the Justice Department.
For instant information on homicide data from 1976 to 1997
go to: www.ojp.gov/bjs/homicide/intimates.htm
PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN USE SILENT WITNESSES AT NATIONAL MEETING
For the second time, the national convention of Presbyterian Women are planning to use the Silent Witness exhibit to raise awareness and commitment to the issue of Domestic Violence. We are so pleased that they are setting this up a whole year in advance so they are sure to be able to use the Witnesses. Thanks to Amy Tuttle who is making sure this happens.
RECRUITING VOLUNTEERS ON THE INTERNET:
I got a great notice from Idealist, a FREE internet service to help you recruit volunteers, hire staff, or recruit interns for your SW or other activities. You just enter your organization and information abaout your mission, services and your volunteer/staff needs etc and then let people access you. People search by location, keywork, or area of interest and they can subscribe to mailing lists which will automatically update them with new information. It is run by Russ Finkelstein, Dirctor of Outreach, Action Without Borders, www.idealist.org 212-271-6732. To join: www.idealist.org/IS/neworg.html
I leave you today with a poem about hope when hope doesn't seem possible. Hope is what keeps us going. Keep holding on to hope, because the healing is working in our country. It is working because of you.
The Tides of Life