Responses to the Silent Witness Exhibit
One woman wrote a ten page letter telling how deeply moved she was by her connection with the exhibit. "Your Silent Witness creation has had a great effect on opening me to surrendering my anonymity as a formerly battered woman...it was the springboard, the catalyst for my going public with my own truth."
College students viewing the figures left these comments behind: "Powerful statement without the words--thanks? devastatingly real, frustrating, full of heartache but excellent interpretation of reality and sadness; so many preventable deaths; moving--felt the same as I did when I saw the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; as an abuser this brings my actions home; what will it take to end this violence?; this pierces my soul; your work gave me goose bumps as I walked in; their silence echoes loudly in me; the spirits of the women are present here; Oh my God!"
The woman carpenter who cut out the majority of figures for the Michigan project felt the presence of the women so strongly as she cut their figures out of wood that she wrote a poem dedicated to them.
A woman in northern Minnesota was so moved by the Exhibit when it visited her town that she wrote a song to all women.
In Arizona, seventy and eighty-year-old women bought saws and helped build their Witnesses.
A homemaker and her sister (a formerly battered woman) created a Silent Witness Exhibit for New Hampshire. While the sister was cutting out the figures, she said, "This could have been me. My sister could be cutting my figure." At the debut of the Witnesses in Concord, a little boy with a teddy bear wrapped in his arms took his little friend up to one of the figures and pointed to her. "That's my mommy," he said. One year after the New Hampshire exhibit was created the sister of the originator moved to Maine and called the Silent Witness directors, asking if she could coordinate the Maine exhibit because she was so moved by her experience in New Hampshire.
One woman who wished to remain anonymous because she was in a prominent position in the community, wrote to the organizers and said she was currently in a battered relationship but thanked them for their work and urged them to move forward. She said she was scared but was hoping she could be strong enough to fight this. Several months later the organizers got a very sad letter from the anonymous woman's mother who must have found the letter among her daughter's things. The mother wrote that the daughter had been killed by her husband. We have chosen this anonymous woman to be the honorary head of our March to End the Silence in Washington.
2000 Silent Witness National Initiative and voyageurit.net