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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

National director of Silent Witness Initiative to speak at URI New 'witnesses' created by
URI students to be unveiled

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 12, 2000 -- The Silent Witness Initiative is a traveling memorial honoring women who have been murdered in acts of domestic violence in the Unites States since 1980. Janet Hagberg, the national director of the initiative, will speak about the program and domestic violence on October 19 at the University of Rhode Island. She will speak in Atrium 2 of the Memorial Union at 10 a.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

The national Silent Witness exhibit is made up of life-sized red silhouettes, each representing a woman whose life ended violently at the hands of a lover, husband, ex husband or acquaintance. An additional figure represents those uncounted women whose deaths were unreported or unacknowledged. The goal of the Silent Witness Initiative is to reduce domestic violence murders to zero by 2010 by involving all 50 states in the effort. The initiative has also grown to include 17 countries as well.

Preceding Hagberg's talk, URI undergraduate student Melanie Martin will present six new 'witnesses' to the University. The 'witnesses' were created last spring by the URI Greek system, organized by Tau Kappa Epilson. The witnesses represent Rhode Island women who have lost their lives to domestic violence. Each witness will bear a plaque stating her name, date of birth and death, and how she died. These witnesses will be housed at URI's Women's Center and may be exhibited elsewhere for educational purposes.

An author and nationally recognized speaker, Hagberg is one of the creators of the original Minnesota Silent Witness exhibits. Hagberg has also founded three consulting companies with Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and government. In addition, she has created two statewide professional organizations, worked with women in prison, served on numerous boards, and traveled around the world.

A small reception will follow the conclusion of the event. For additional information, contact the URI Women's Center at 874-2097.

For Information: Sara Bendoraitis, 874-2097, Jan Sawyer, 874-2116


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