‘Silent Witness’ unveiling to honor domestic violence victims


BOWLING GREEN, O .—In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, regional victims of domestic violence will be honored at the unveiling of the 2013 collection of the northwest Ohio chapter of the Silent Witness Project, the Bowling Green State University Women’s Center has announced.

The ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, 25877 Scheider Road, in Perrysburg. The event is free and open to the public. 

The Silent Witness Project is a national initiative, founded in 1990 in Minnesota in response to an epidemic of domestic violence homicides. There now are local Silent Witness Project chapters in all 50 states. The BGSU Women’s Center founded the northwest Ohio chapter in 2001, and it has become one of the largest in the nation.

The 2013 collection includes 69 freestanding, life-sized wooden silhouettes, each bearing the name and story of a girl or woman whose life ended violently at the hands of a husband, boyfriend, dating partner or stalker. All Silent Witnesses in the collection were from northwest Ohio and all were murdered within the past decade.  Fourteen of the current figures represent victims who were murdered in just the last year and a half. 

During the unveiling, the silhouettes will be revealed one by one in a solemn ceremony.  Each Silent Witness will be represented by an individual reader, who will recount the story of the girl or woman represented by that figure.

The evening also will include an address by keynote speaker Julia Strange, a northwest Ohio native who has devoted her career to policy analysis regarding domestic violence and sexual assault, victim advocacy and primary prevention—work that has taken around the world.  She currently works as a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Analyst for the U.S. Navy and volunteers for the nonprofit organization Collective Action for Safe Spaces.

The nearly 35 sponsors include university and civic agencies and organizations from the entire northwest Ohio region.

For more information, call Dr. Mary Krueger, director of the BGSU Women’s Center, at 419-372-7227.

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(Posted October 02, 2013 )